Thursday, March 04, 2010

There is no French word for 'Happy Hour'.

One of the toughest parts of being an expat, or in my case an immigrant, is the reality of leaving your friends behind and jumping into a new location and trying to make new ones. Anyone who has ever moved to a new city or state knows how difficult it can be to jump ship and create a new social circle. Doing so in a foreign language is just that much more daunting a task. I think I’ve whined about making French friends on this blog before and I plan to do so again one last time and then I think it will beofficially out of my system:

I find Frenchmen lovely. So much so that I married one. French women on the other hand don’t really trip my trigger. For one, I think I intimidate them. That’s a nice way of saying I scare them off. If you’ve been reading this blog for any time now, you know I have a big personality, but to my credit I’m a bit more subdued in person….as long as I’m sober. Unfortunately most casual social situations or informal events in France do not include sobriety. After a few glasses of wine I have been known to do things that seem completely strange and obnoxious to French women, such as laughing. And trust me it's not just Parisienne women who enjoy looking down on fun people.

But I have to admit; If I didn’t live in the armpit of France I would definitely give this a try. The idea is so simple: It’s like a cocktail hour before work. Only the cocktail is coffee of course. Is this a great idea or is this a great idea? And wouldn't it just be a really cool way to start off your day?
If anyone has ever been to one of these events in Paris I would LOVE to hear how it went. Seriously please either e-mail me or post in comments.

Wait, wait, don’t tell me. A bunch of Anglophones showed up.


Anonymous said...

I didn't know they had this sort of thing in the US. I don't think I'd go to this sort of thing, but I can be lured with free bagels and kaiser rolls.

Megan said...

I hear you on the French women thing. The only ones I seem to be able to be friendly with are the ones with whom there is already a connection via. my frenchman (ie the wives and girlfriends of his friends).

Anonymous said...

I always have had a harder time with French women than men too.
However, here in the country, the women are a little less stand-offish and easier to please. I also find they have more of a "normal" sense of humor than their Parisian counterparts. Maybe I'm not sophisticated enough for Paris?
I can't imagine that this coffee klatch will appeal to citified French women. Mainly because they probably aren't fluent in English.
But good luck anyway!

the fly in the web said...

I've been on the wrong side of the tracks since arriving in France...and the people are much nicer on that side.

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

I think I am with Dedene: "I can't imagine that this coffee klatch will appeal to citified French women."

I might give it a go if they would update the March date for Paris! The last one posted was for Feb 19. Then again, who am I kidding? I don't go out to do *anything* in the morning if I can help it, lol.

I like the idea, though, and I think I would 100% do it, if I were in the States. Funny, huh. I just can't imagine doing it here. Maybe it is because France has actually made me more shy. Maybe I will get over it as soon as I speak more French.

Shanster said...

Oh how sad... no phrase for happy hour? Poor frogs.

Rachael said...

I was out to dinner recently with my other half in le Nord and there were two young women at the table next to us, laughing their heads off. I was delighted, such a rare sight!

Mme K, a pleasure to have you back again.

Jake the ColoIowaConnectifrancilite said...

According to my French Students at the HIgh School I teach in, happy hour is illegal in France-- at least in the traditional sense. It was deemed as unfair competition to offer 2 for 1 deals. They can do other happy hours, but not 2 for 1. I don't know if this is true.

Aaron Grunwald said...

Madame K:

I'm happy to host you any ole' morning... that is, for Irish Coffee. 8-)

Nikki G said...

I feel your pain, I lived in Paris last year. I found it really hard to meet people. Although French people are ridiculously reserved and uptight in comparison to (anglophones, I'm English). I suppose if you think about it, when you are in your own country with your own social network of family and friends-you aren't as bothered to make new ones. I guess being in the situation makes you more friendly which is always a good thing!