Friday, May 05, 2006

"Sorry, I'm from New York."

"I live in France."

"Yes, I live in France."

"I live in France."

I swear, no matter how many times I say it, it's still just plain weird. One would think that after 3 years the novelty would wear off, but in reality it just seems to become more surreal everyday.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and turn on the TV and for a split second I think: "Why are the people on TV speaking French?". Or even better yet, I'm 5 minutes into watching the Dukes of Hazzard when I realize that its been dubbed into French---and I can still understand it. Of course a nanosecond later I remember that 1.) I live in France, and 2.) I speak French. Sometimes these little realizations make me think: "Oh God, what am I doing here?". But then there are times when I get a good chuckle.

Living in France for 3 years doesn't undo all the "American-ness". (feel free to add this word to your vocab) And God knows it certainly doesn't undo all the "Brooklyn" in me either. I'm jumpy & nervous, and suspicious as ever. When I enter our parking garage I always enter slowly and listen for strange noises, look for moving shadows, or the hint of someone lurking, and I lock my car door as soon as I get in. And eventhough guns are hard to come by in France, whenever I hear a loud pop or bang I instinctively look for something large and heavy to dive behind. Paranoia? In BedStuy it's just called common sense.

My old neighborhood in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn.

At any rate, my "common sense" led me to a funny little situation this morning. As I came home from running errands, a rather creepy looking fellow knocked on the door and asked me to let him into the building. I gave him a very suspicious once-over without opening the door. Seeing that I wasn't about to let him in, he yelled through the glass door that he was from France Telecom and had work to do in the building. I gave him a second weird look. He seemed surprised that I didnt believe him. But gimme a break here: Could he really be from France telecom? He was like.....all.......dirty and stuff.

I was just about to walk away and leave his dirty ass standing out there when I realised that in fact he was wearing a uniform, kinda, and behind him he had a whole box of tools and crap and some phone shaped machine thingy. So I finally let him in.

A few minutes later I heard him in the hallway doing his work. Turns out he wasn't a robber, rapist, scam artist, or serial killer. He was just a dirty guy who works for France Telecom. I felt sorry for the guy for an instant. He must have to beg people to let him into buildings all damn day.

But sorry dirty guy, I'm not French. I'm from New York.


Riana said...

LMAO, at the stetch, you are so funny lady!!

Cree A. said...

Kinda like you can't take the twang outta the Tx girl...

Kim/Thomas said...

I grew up in Chicago, and now live in NY and sometimes feel slightly the same way, but you know, not really, since we all speak the same language ;)

Ha, i'm not fully awak, maybe I am the only one who gets that!

I laughed at your post, well i laughed at all of them, i just got caught up!

journalisticks said...

always intrigued by folks who make the migration to France.

looked through your posts but couldn't quite find how you got there.

you should check out and look up miles marshall lewis, a writer who now calls paris home. He's from NYC as well.