Wednesday in Paris

Paris cafe

It was Wednesday lunchtime.

I had taught classes all morning. It was late, and I was sick of eating the same end-of-day baguette sandwiches from the bakery. An evening of class preparation loomed before me and I decided that a real meal was in order.

So, I ventured into the neighbourhood cafe that I passed thrice* daily. I ordered a no-fuss open sandwich with prosciutto, walnuts and melted camembert. The waiter, mistaking me for a tourist, flirted with me in an outrageous, exaggerated French accent. Adopting the slightly haughty demeanour of a local, (and in possibly my best example of spoken French to date) I ordered a glass of light-bodied red wine. Pleased with his obvious shock, I smiled, along with the table of elderly men who were playing cards at the table next to me.


An older woman entered the restaurant as my meal arrived, wearing a zebra print suit and bright pink lipstick. She waved grumpily at the waitress, muttering under her breath about the terrible service. The serveuse immediately placed not one, but two cups of espresso in front of her. The zebra drank the coffees in quick succession then broke into a smile. Comment va tu ma belle? She leaned over to kiss the cheeks of the waitress who served her coffee everyday.

I ate my sandwich, drank my wine and stood up to leave when I realised something.

It was Wednesday lunchtime.

(*I mean really, when was the last time anyone used ‘thrice’ in a sentence?)

Paris cafe image courtesy of Pat Guiney on Flickr.
Coffee image courtesy of Matthew Knott on Flickr.


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