So, at La Sorbonne, as part of our last 2 hours of the day, we have a literature/culture/history discussion. Last week we studied the history of immigrants in France. Then as a way for each of us to practice our speaking skills, the professor went around the room and asked each of us to talk a bit about immigration and culture in our home countries. Everything was going really well at first. The Brazilians talked about the large Japanese population in Brazil, and the Londoners talked about Indian and Pakistanis in England. All very enlightening stuff. Then we got to the Russian girl.
“The Russian”, as we’ve all come to call her, began a tirade about how the only immigrants that come to Russia are criminals that move to Russia to become part of the mafia. Oh, and especially the Jews because they are smart and good with money.
Mind you, as she is spewing all this, the rest of us are just looking around at eachother in absolute bewilderment, (is that a word?) half wondering if we were hallucinating or if maybe we’d simply misunderstood her. Even our preternaturally calm, cool, and collected French professor looked a bit stunned. But before the professor could
shut her up cut her off , one of the Italian students jumped in, and well, jumped about as far down that poor girl's throat as is earthly possible-- in broken French. It was beautiful! Bee-oootiful I tell you! Two people arguing in broken French about whether or not Jews run the Russian mafia. Needless to say, the Italian got the last word and that was the end of that.
Now each day after class “The Russian” scurries out of class as soon the class has finished. She won’t even hold eye contact with any of us Jew-lovers.
Oh the joys of higher education!