Saturday, August 20, 2005

I'll take the saw-kee-sone, please!


We now take an intermission from the current series of Japanese memories. I was reading this entry by cindym on learning the ropes in Paris, and was reminded of a funny experience of my own. I'll try to keep it short. At my previous job I was "required" to travel to London every couple of months. Almost everytime I went there I would take the opportunity to visit my friend (see photo) in France over the weekend. On one occassion I was to meet him (and his wife, Alexandra) in Paris. Because of flight times I had to either arrive early evening or shortly after noon. I opted for the earlier flight, but that meant spending a few hours alone in big, scarey Paris (as my friend had to leave work and then drive in from Nantes). But I did it anyway. So, I arrived at the airport, took the train to the station where we were to meet. I had my little day-suitcase, with wheels. At this point, I've still got nearly 4 hours to kill.

Now, I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that it had been a relatively long trip. I left from Northampton, England (north of London), took the train to London. flew to Paris, and took the train to....somewhere (I can't remember the stop where we met.) So, my bladder had plenty of time to become not empty (I would now like to apologize for the graphic nature of this post!). So, I'm strolling up and down the same street (because I'm scared of getting lost!) with my little roller suitcase, a full bladder, and an increasingly empty stomach.

So, I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that I didn't (and really still don't) speak French. I'm an ugly American. During my trips up and down the same street I had noticed a nice little cafe that looked like a decent place to stop, empty bladder, and fill stomach. (An earlier atte
mpt at operating a port-a-potty that took coins had proved quite fruitless.) The only problem is that I'm such a freaking prideful bastard that I was scared to reveal to the waitstaff (and the rest of France) that I couldn't parlez the langue. So I kept walking, kept pulling the stupid suitcase, and kept cursing the port-a-potty for not functioning properly!

Anyway, I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that I am human - and that I can only go so long without answering the wailing cry of nature. Pride be damned! I had to pee for crying out loud!! So, I stepped into the cafe. I chose a seat. And the waiter approached. He said something. I looked at him with my best ugly American look. And he gave a knowing nod, indicating that he was privy to my stupidity, and asked in English what I would like to eat. So I'm home free, right? I can order in English! Woohoo! (And by the way, where is the toilet?) But, no! I still couldn't get it right. I recognized something on the menu that my friend, Arnaud, had shared with me before. It was saucisson (see photo).
So I decided that I would order some saucisson and a beer. So, in my best American English I informed the waiter that I would like a beer and some "saw-kee-sone". Unfortunately, the proper pronunciation is "saw-see-sone". So, yet again, I am humiliated and reminded of my burden of being from East Texas. Thank you, and good night.

2 comments:

cindym said...

haaa....well at least you found food and a bathroom eventually! i thought the story was going to end with an even greater tragedy involving loss of bladder control in a public arena...

by the way, paris is ALL ABOUT PUBLIC URINATION. so you know, next time, feel free...

Brent said...

No, fortunately the only thing ruined was my pride - not my pants!

I'm not going to say that I don't trust you on the public urination thing; but maybe you should post some proof on your blog...