Sunday, September 20, 2009

La Sorbonne- Part 2 "It Was Just Like Rocky Five!"

I cannot even begin to tell you how much of a buzz-kill it is to be completely unable to upload photos to my ancient travel laptop. I’m having a blast running around Paris like a chicken with it’s head cut off, but I’ve no way to share my photos with you. So until I’m home, you’ll have to settle for one little spicy anecdote.

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!

21 comments:

Jess said...

Unbelievable... Some people have no shame. Aces to the prof for letting the Italian student jump in :)

Team Jacob said...

Wow!!!

She prob wishes she could go back in time lol

How is your french so far?

yvette said...

Ah, ton histoire est très drôle! Merci mille fois! :-)

'Drea said...

At least "The Russian" has some sense of shame because most uncouth folks don't have a clue how crude they are -- even when someone tries to enlighten them...

Katie said...

Wow, that girl had some balls saying that in front of an entire class! It must be so cool studying french at LA sorbonne! quelle chance!

Camille Acey said...

now if we could only send a contingent of tough-talking Italians INTO Russia.

Megan said...

Maybe the teacher finally realized that that is a loaded question to ask a roomful of people from different cultures?! There is bound to be someone of whatever culture is the "immigrant" culture in the room....

AfricanOrchid said...

ROFLMAO

Dreaming of France said...

Up with Jew-lovers!

m said...

priceless! thank goodness someone spoke up! when you first indicated that a Russian was going to be a main character in your story I was really afraid she was going to rail on the Africans in Russia. I will always remember my visit to Moscow in 2000...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8230158.stm

Uche said...

Am I rude for saying that it's actually Rocky IV you're going for? lol=o)Loved the post!

Madame K said...

Team Jacob---my French is as crappy as ever. More on that later.

Megan---The French lOVE a good/endless debate. The prof surely asked this question on purpose knowing that it would get us to talk/argue.

Uche- Oh SNAP! I forgot to tell you that I never really learned how to use roman numeralzes. Also I can only tell time on digital clocks. For real.

Aaron Grunwald said...

Gros bisous!

Uche said...

lol, you're still cool in my book=oD i mean Rocky 4 (IV)

purejuice said...

the jews run the russian mafia? niiiice.

buzzgirl said...

Damn! Of course the racism/anti-semitism is awful, but I would have been laughing my ass off.

One thing, though. Having been confronted with racism my whole life, I much prefer the Russian's type (in your face, unapologetic) to that of the the San Francisco type (who believe that crap, but are on the DL about it). That way I know exactly where I stand.

Camille Acey said...

@buzzgirl -I grew up in California (Bay Area) and I know what you mean, but just like in Rocky, the Russians are not just talk. They come with fists flying, and I aint feelin that.

Rosabell said...

hm...have you ever been to Rusia ?? No sane person would immigarte there... So, I couldn't imagine what kind of person would chose Rusia as a place for staying. Unless, of course, he/she is involved in something that smells... As or the jews, they keep coming to Eastern Europe countries where they make most of the black market/strange/fishy business both with the police and the politicians help. So, the Russian was about right :) Of course, you will always think the other way round :)))

Madame K said...

Rosabell- "Of course, you will always think the other way round."

To be honest, I couldn't give a rat's ass either way about what goes on in Russia. I don't even drink Russian Vodka.

Camille Acey said...

Wow Rosabell, in one blog comment, you just got yourself added to hella peoples' hit list. See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya.

BebeJardin said...

Dude, can you imagine growing up in the USSR?! Your school books are probably all pre WWII musings that have no relevance! Or so I would hope because dayum...there is just no excuse. I happen to really love Jews (and am a Jewphile for sho') so maybe I don't count though :/