lundi, avril 30, 2007

"Making the Bridge"

Tomorrow is a national holiday, so many French people were asking each other if they were going to "make the bridge" (faire le pont). As it turns out, what this expression means is something like "long weekend." More specifically, it's what you do when you have a holiday on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, and you take off intervening days to connect the holiday to the weekend before or after. In other words, Thanksgiving in the US, and May 2-4 in Canada (a.k.a. Victoria Day, a.k.a. Get drunk in the bushes in honour of "our" Queen day). Since tomorrow is a Tuesday, most people here take off today as well and have themselves a 4-day weekend somewhere nice. I wish I had thought of that. I could've gotten some cheap-ass last minute train tickets to someplace near the ocean. Ah well, live and learn.

Anyway, after an unremarkable day at work, I got home and started preparing to finally blog about my outing last Saturday. I managed to upload, select and edit all of my photos and upload all of my film clips to YouTube, before DJ suggested that we go get some poutine. Now, poutine is one of those dishes for which, once you mention it to me, I am totally hungry. And once poutine is in my head, nothing else will satisfy me. So, I wrapped up what I was doing and got ready to head out.

In what was probably poor judgement, I decided that DJ and I should try one of the bottles of rosé wines that I picked up while shopping earlier that day. I've always been a bit of a snob about rosés, but the weather is warm and I'm willing to believe that rosés in France might be less crappy than elsewhere. For what it's worth, the rosé was actually quite nice: more like a dry Italian white with a little bit of a red bouquet. Regardless, we finished the whole bottle.

From there, things sort of spun out of control. Especially since neither of us had eaten yet and we had half a bottle of wine in us. We headed off to The Moose, ready for some poutine. Of course, we forgot that tomorrow was going to be a holiday--which meant that the place was packed. At least, it was packed for a Monday night.

After travelling up and down the bar and into the back room a few times to look for a table or even a decent seat at the bar, we gave up and took position next to the main dining area, with beers in our hands. DJ and I did our best to send out "hook up and go home" vibes to all the couples that were taking up precious real-estate with their non-poutine-related courtship. For a moment, we considered circulating around the room, advising people on how to be efficient about it: "Dude, there's no way she's going to do you, so you need to hit on her friend." "Honey, don't try to bag the boy your girlfriend is already working on. Take that guy with the indyrock beard as your consolation prize."

We also spotted this guy that looked like a bizarre, neon-coloured extra from Trainspotting. He was tall and exceptionally large, with a shaved head an no neck, wearing an over-tight zip-up shell-top that had a garish geometric pattern on it, a soccer jersey underneath in clashing colours, and some floppy adidas pants that were actually still too tight on him. DJ suggested that I approach him and ask him, "Excuse me sir, were you aware that you're ironic?" It seemed like an excellent idea, but thankfully my survival instincts overrode that one.

There was a group in front of us that were also waiting for a table. Suddenly, two large tables opened up, so we let them head to one table, and then we started heading toward the next table. As we were about to take the table, a girl from the other group came over and said, "No, we're taking both tables and pushing them together." "Oh yeah? Why do you need both?" "There's 15 of us." "Fifteen?!" "Sorry, you can totally have the next table." "Whatever."

We returned to our position to sulk, bitch and glare and the group that had denied us our poutine. At some point, another group tried to push past us and find a table in the dining area. I did everything but snarl at them and they quickly took the hint and went back to drinking at the bar. By this time, both of us were ready to fight for our right to poutine, dammit.

When another table finally opened up, we pretty much threw ourselves at it. It was a table of 4, and the same girl from that other group (which kept growing as more of their friends from their MBA-students-of-France posse showed up in their incongruous 3-piece suits) darted over and tried to claim that table for her group as well. Despite being pretty tipsy at this point, I managed to marshal enough French to assert myself: "HEY!! We were totally here before the rest of your group showed up!" "Ok, ok, we'll leave you two chairs." Damn fucking straight you will, missy.

So, after a fair bit of angst, DJ and I finally managed to get seated and order up a bowl of their best poutine with Montreal smoked meat. We wolfed back our food, ordered some more beer, and took a moment to allow our arteries to harden. For the rest of our time at the bar, we drank beers (it was 2 for 5€ Mooseheads that night) and amused ourselves watching the complex ballet of "Who's getting laid tonight?" play out at the table before us. The best part of the whole drama was when the girl who was the centre of attention went away and came back with a male "friend" who clearly served as a cock-block to the rest of the guys. I only wish I could've videotaped that.

After the bar stopped serving beer, we headed out onto the street with the realization that we were still hungry. DJ knew of a kebab place in the Latin Quarter that was pretty good, so we headed off in that direction. A little while later, we discovered the place was inexplicably closed, so we headed off to another Kebab place near that cluster of never-closed restaurants around Les Halles.

As we were enjoying our deliciously-bad kebabs and greasy fries, we got chatted up by a couple of American guys who were in Paris for a while. They asked us what we were doing in Paris, which inevitably turned into DJ and I explaining our discipline and subject areas. Thankfully, both guys were far more interested in DJ's jazz stuff than my EDM stuff, so DJ got to field the "Recommend jazz clubs for me!" questions.

We left the kebab stand a bit greasier (but happier) and headed off to Châtelet to catch the night bus home. The return home was surprisingly uneventful...

2 commentaires:

Humingway a dit…

This may be your funniest post yet.
"You gotta fight...
For your right...
To POOOOOOOU-TINE!"

LMGM a dit…

Thanks! I aim to please...