Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Random French Conversation 1

On one of my first days here, I was buying metro tickets and couldn't figure out where to put the bills in the machine, so I asked the attendant and, I guess because of my accent, he asked me where I was from in the United States.  I told him St. Louis (in the most french way possible), and he looked at me with a confused expression on his face.  I didn't know how to say 'in the midwest' in french so I said it was in the middle of the country on the Mississippi River.  He still had no idea.  I've found that French people really only know about California and New York City when it comes to US geography.  Anyway, he came out of his window to show me how to use the machine, and this is where the conversation gets good.

Just in case you go to Paris one day and buy metro tickets through a machine, and don't want to have a ten minute long french conversation with the attendant, the bills go in the little slot way over to the right in the part that doesn't even look like it's connected to the rest of the apparatus.  While I was finishing up the transaction, the guy stood there next to me and asked if I liked our president.  Yes, I had a political conversation in french with the metro guy during my first 24 hours in Paris.  We discussed, agreed on some things, and disagreed on some things, and then I continued on my way.  It was interesting that politics was the first thing he brought up upon learning I was American.  In our culture, politics is one of those topics you aren't really supposed to talk about, especially someone's personal opinion, unless you know the person pretty well.  I just asked the guy to help me get a ticket and I feel like I know him better than some of my friends I hang out with on a regular basis.  The cool thing is, that even if we disagreed on liking or disliking Obama, I feel like that really wouldn't have changed the conversation that much; like he wouldn't have been offended or disinterested in the conversation anymore.

I feel like I'm going to have a lot of stories that have to do with the metro.

(photo collected from googleimages)

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