9.13.2006

The American Dream, plan B

Despite the fact that this photo shows Aurel using my laptop at an art museum, we aren't at the Louvre, we're at MCDONALDS. I personally haven't eaten at a McDonald's in years. But here in good old France, McDonald's offers free WiFi, so voila, here we are. And despite having seen Supersize Me, this McDo (as the French say) seems better. Like the hormones in the hamburgers are healthier. Because they're French and probably, along with the hormones and other shit the cows were fed, they were probably also drinking red wine from their trough.

Just a guess.

Last night I went to yet another France Telecom agency, ready to throw down and take names to get a land line. Three time's a charm, because we are now happily en route to having everything our little hearts could desire (internet! cable! land line!), though it will take "up to 4 weeks" for things to be installed. Aurel says that it never takes as much time as they say it will, but I remain cautiously optimistic. Until I surf the net while talking on the phone and flipping channels, I hold little hope.

In many ways, living in Paris is a lot like living in New York and I don't find myself missing much- the culture of the films, tv shows, even cleaning products (see the bald-headed Monsieur Propre in our bathroom), but the mentality really gets to me sometimes. I have come to expect the first answer to be "NON" when I ask anything: does WiFi work here, can I change my phone number, do fries come with that? It's this immediate reaction of the people behind the counter that pisses me off, and has caused much of my frustration over the past 10 days. It just seems like they don't want to try, and that seems unfair because they're being PAID and I'm being a CUSTOMER.

In any event, I no longer understand "NON" as a negative word, more like an introduction. Kind of like, "pleased to meet you." It doesn't get you very far, but it sort of needs to be said to kick-start the conversation. I've given up fighting the mentality of the country and am trying to zen it out and keep things light; we'll see how it goes.

2 comments:

Kate said...

Bonne chance et du courage!

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha, i just realized that Aurel is NOT, in fact, hiding behind the laptop screen. His head blends into the "art museum" background so well, i didn't see it at first !

too bad American McDo hasn't taken any decor hints from French Mcdo ... maybe we'd eat there more often when in the US !

PS - you're the "star" of my blog at the moment ...

talk tomorrow night !
Erica