The waiter.

The French have been stereotyped as being rude. Almost every time I’ve mentioned Paris to an American, they have replied with “Oh it’s beautiful but the people are rude”. I came prepared for some rudeness, but during my three weeks here, I had not encountered it...until Sunday. One thing I promised myself I wouldn’t do here is complain, so I won’t. I am having an incredible experience that I feel very grateful to have. I believe coming here was the single best decision I have ever made. That being said, here is a non-fiction, short story about my Sunday.

Sunday it was free to go to Musee D’orsay. Perfect! I, and seemingly the rest of Paris thought. It was impossible, 2 hour wait to get in. I quickly moved on. There will be many other times to go and I’ll pay the 11 euros to not have my claustrophobia kick in. I next found myself at Laduree on Rue Bonaparte. I had some champagne and dessert to cheer myself up. I spent the rest of the day marching around,  drinking Ghluwein from the Christmas markets and taking pictures.

I decided to have dinner near the Seine before catching the train home. I found an agreeable cafe with a view of the Louvre. Blankets draped over wicker chairs on a nearly empty patio. I went inside to make sure it was ok to seat myself outside. HOW POLITE OF ME. I sat down and got cozy with a book.  The waiter wasn’t very welcoming,  but I’ve found that to be the norm. My feet were aching, there was hardly anyone sitting outside besides me, I had 4 empty wicker, not crushed velvet, chairs surrounding me, almost encouraging me to employ them. I put my relatively clean suede boot on a chair. The waiter returned, to check on me I assumed.  Then, with direct eye contact and a condescending smile, grasped my foot with both his hands and placed it on the floor. I repeat, he physically removed my foot from the chair. At first, I was very confused. Was this some weird french flirting? ( I once had a guy try to touch my foot 5 min into a FIRST date) I quickly realized it wasn’t. My reply, “Merci?” because I don’t know how to say “what the fuck” in French. 

On the train home I kept both feet on the floor while some Frenchman smoked cigarettes and drank a 40 of Kronenbourg. He was sprawled across 3 seats, with a no smoking sign behind his head.

 Scene of the assault 

Scene of the assault 

Tara Cunningham