Today I made plans to meet up with a new friend named Gwendolyn. She was on my walking tour yesterday. She is here from Chicago. She is getting married in a couple of weeks to a man who lives in Paris. She met him on vacation a year or so ago. Right after they get married she is going back to Chicago. She doesn't speak French either. I was really grateful to have someone to chat with. We were meeting up at this Jazz club in town called Sunset. The area was a very busy bar area near Chatelet - Les Halles.
I got to the meeting place 30 minutes early so I just walked around checking it all out.I stopped at a park with a fountain and people were sitting all around the wall. So I found a seat to wait for a while. Not a minute later a guy comes up and sits next to me and starts speaking in French. I smiled apologetically and told him that I don't speak French. He didn't believe me. He sat and continued to talk to me in French anyway. I just shrugged my shoulders a lot.
I was warned that people in France, are a little more 'affectionate' than Americans are so when he tried to kiss my cheeks, I politely put a hand up to stop him. Undeterred, he put his hand on my back. I am thinking to myself "cultural differences. . . cultural differences, its ok" then he wanted to touch my face and hair and then it was too WEIRD. So I jumped up said 'Au revoir' and headed back to the meeting place. I looked over my shoulder and he is following me. I wasn't afraid, he was relatively harmless, just strange, and I was in an open crowded area. The problem is I didn't know how to tell him to leave me alone and I didn't want to overreact or cause a scene. So I ducked into the Jazz club and told the woman at the door to tell Gwendolyn that I was inside when she got there.
The moral of the story is:If you are going to learn only a few phrases when visiting a country where you don't speak the language, one of them should be "get away from me"
Anyway. . . this Jazz club was like out of a movie small, dark and smoky. But to show you how un-cool I am, I kept thinking, this place is a fire hazard, there is no emergency exit and it is definitely filled over capacity. But then the band started and I got over it. It was the Giovanni MIRABASSI Trio- piano, trumpet, upright base. They were great. But after the first set we headed out to make sure we didn't miss the last train back.