Woo! Post-splosion! This will be my 4th post today, finally putting me back on schedule for blogging.
Aside from the sweaty fun of biking to and fro around the city, there wasn’t much of remarkable that happened during the daytime today. I taught another English conversation class like the one I did yesterday, and the kids were similarly timid but capable. This group had more “Masters” students (i.e., “Second-cycle” or something like our M.A.), who mostly had better English skills—but I still had to repeat yesterday’s gesture and tell students to stop talking when others are talking.
After biking home from work, I realized that I had biked intensively for about 90 minutes in total that day, and I deserved a good meal. I had a nice bottle of Burgundian wine waiting for me at home that would go well with some poultry, so I decided to hit the butcher / poultry shop on the corner of Oberkampf and St.-Maur. As I walked in, one of the butchers was busy teasing the old man at the counter:
“You want sausages? You like my sausages, eh? Yeah, I saw that twinkle in your eye, you perv, you want my sausage.”
“You want a good steak? What on earth makes you think you deserve one of my good ones?”
“Veal? I know you like them young, but that’s just sick.”
The old man was laughing and keeping up with the jokes, alternating between feigned outrage and equally lewd innuendo. At a certain point, the old man noticed that I had entered the shop and complained to the butcher, “This young man is going to think I’m some sort of weirdo.”
“Oh no,” the butcher replied, “I’m sure he’s been in here before and seen how we behave.”
“Actually,” I said, jumping in, “this is my first time in here.”
A round of laughter, as if this had just made things all the more hilarious.
“Well great!” the Butcher said, “What an introduction to the neighborhood. You see how friendly we are here, no?”
From the cash register, his wife groaned and rolled her eyes, “You can take both of them, please. They’re filthy, filthy men.”
“Do you see the abuse I take here?” said the old man, gesturing at the entire staff.
“Oh, come on,” chided the butcher, “you know you like it. You keep coming back for more.”
“Whatever,” said the butcher’s wife, chuckling and absentmindedly rubbing her tracheotomy scar, “As long as he’s buying our meat, I don’t care how rough he likes it.”
If anybody needed an argument for small, owner-run shops, this is it. They probably aren’t the cheapest place to get meat in this neighborhood, and the roasted chicken I got was actually a bit over-roasted, but I know that I’ll be back.