France Insider/Paul Ben-Itzak

January 19, 2008

An American Psycho in Paris

Filed under: Uncategorized — franceblogger @ 9:14 pm

Well, not Paris, actually; Montreuil, last stop on the Metro 9, which has the best Christmas decorations I’ve seen in France this season, and I’ve seen France this season, from Les Eyzies to Perigueux to Montpellier to Sete to Marseille to Paris. The uniting theme seems to be green, wreaths with spare accessories, although the classic colored lights seems to be holding too, especially outside city halls, like that here, where my pal Sandrine (not her real name) is putting up with me. And actually this may not be accidental, at least in Paris, where the Socialist Ayatollah who runs the place as mayor put out an edict that the power of Christmas lights had to be reduced 60 percent. My favorite though remains the petite tree on the counter of La Rimauderie which I can never spell right, which usually stays on the counter well into February so that joking-in-French limited wags like me can say, “Toujours Noel!” Today I just straggled the counter ignoring patron Martine’s (real name) extended hands in favor of kisses. Then after a glance up the rue des Martyrs (green plus disco balls, not as tacky as it sounds), down to the Boulevard, the Boulevards, Montand’s Boulevards — ‘so many things to see’ — via the arcades or passages. I stopped at the music boxes with the idea of getting one for Sandrine to make up for the betise I committed last night but nothing seemed appropriate: “Let it Be,” which would imply that I was saying she should just “Let it Be,” flippant self-serving advice in this context, “Sous le ciel de Paris,” which was more about my adventures than her. “La Vie in Rose” was tempting — the worse stereotype to get a French person on the one hand, but the lyrics seemed appropriate to the situation. I finally decided on “Les amoureux des bancs public” by Georges Brassens because played at a certain tempo it took on a tragic air, but changed my mind when the young vendeuse wouldn’t get off the phone to help me…. Not the only of my interactions which had an unexpected twist today. At the cheese boutique, en route to the Seine, I told the man of the couple who runs it that I’d moved to the Dordogne, where the problem was that every other cheese but chevre, i.e. those made locally, cost 40 Euros a kilo.”N’importe quoi,” said he, “Our most expensive is this one, 21, or this tomme chevre from Haute Savoie, also 21, would you like to try it, I’ll include the etiquete (label, with green mountains and grazing chevres) you can by just a quarter. It wasn’t outstanding, I preferred the almost at its eat before day camembert soaked in calva that probably made me too sick to see the Rosas concert and Sandrine mad at me for insisting we turn back, but then I remembered that tommes have penicillin in the rind and so even if it the taste wasn’t outstanding it would disinfect my taster, i.e. my tongue, which has been piqued non-stop by the tooth that lost a chip off its shoulder a couple of days ago. I have to go now; I decided not to try to get tix to the concert tonight so I could be here when Sandrine gets back and help her unload her props from the clown party.


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