Here I am in Paris in October of 2009, sitting in a pub, waiting for someone to bring me another Coca-Cola. The flimsy hoodie that’s zipped over my frame (K-Mart, $15) was the heaviest garment I brought with me. For some reason, I thought France would be agreeably warm so close to Halloween. I’m not sure why. Guess I really earned that C+ in tenth grade geography. October in France offers plenty of unbridled chilliness, and while I was visiting that chilliness was generally coupled with endlessly dreary rain-streaked skies. This photo captures me mere hours before the worst cold/flu of my life, which I helped nurture by staying up all night at a raucous dinner party where I was the token American who had to explain why Obama hadn’t fixed the world yet. Hey man, I don’t know, just pass me the embalming fluid so my corpse looks presentable for the plane ride home.
In France, “Simpsons” character Sideshow Bob is known as “Tahiti Bob,” because sideshows / seedy-ass carnivals as we know and love them here in America have never really existed in France. Tahiti Bob will be my handle if I ever become a computer hacker or CB radio enthusiast.
In France, He-Man is known as “Musclor,” because someone over there realized He-Man is the stupidest fucking name for anything in the history of the world. “He-Man” has no meaning. It’s like saying “Man Man.”
In France, a lot of TV stations start showing porn movies on Sunday nights with no warning or explanation. It’s just French tradition. The sun goes down and suddenly every channel has seaside three-ways with people thrusting and grunting.
In France, beggars are so bold they will come up to you on the street or the subway if you’re eating food and say, “Hey, you’re not going to eat all that. Give me some.” If you say no, they will argue with you until they’re absolutely sure you won’t break them off a piece.
In France, the rice they serve with Chinese food is of the Middle Eastern variety. It’s not that thick, sticky, clumpy stuff you get in America.
In France, it’s really hard to find Wonder Bread, and everyone looks at you like you’re crazy when you talk about how you like Wonder Bread. They go for that super hard n’ crusty bread over there.
In France, “Friends” is so popular they show it about eight times a day in French AND English.
In France, there is no Mountain Dew. There is Diet Coke with Orange, though.