As you can probably imagine, in the past two and a half months I have had quite a few awkward moments in Paris. I have listed the top 10 here for you to enjoy having a laugh at my expense...
- You are standing at a printing shop, waiting for your document to print when the French man who works the counter starts chatting with you. About 90% is clear, but he has an accent you haven’t heard before so it is a bit difficult to catch everything. Then he makes a rude joke at your expense. Everyone around you is laughing so you join in until he says, “So it’s true yes?”
- You are describing a building in detail to your tour group while pointing at it. Explaining its relevance and history in Paris, when you realize you are pointing at the wrong building.
- Your landlady gives you the keys to your new apartment and lists everything that is there to be sure it is still there when you give the keys back. She points at the hanging plant saying she expects to see alive in October. It dies less than one month into your contract.
- You are out on tour with a group and a little boy informs you he needs a bathroom. You kindly explain that if he waits a few minutes we’ll pass a coffee shop he can run into. When he says he can’t wait, he ducks into some bushes on the side of the road and does his business.
- A gypsy tries to steal your bike in the middle of a tour while you are speaking to your group. You run over to the bike and say something very rude in French to which she rebuts and storms off. Slightly shaken, you turn to your group and ask, “Uhm… does anyone speak French?” Everyone looks at each other shaking their heads but one of the men at the back. He laughs and says, “couldn’t have said it better myself!”
- You have a family on your tour with two sons both in high school. You’ve been having a great tour, joking around with the family and hearing about the oldest boy’s university plans. At the end of the tour their mom asks if you will take a photo with their family. You say of course and she says, “Oh no, just with my sons. You can be the girl they met in Paris!” After they leave you walk over to where your boss is standing who says, “So that was your mother-in-law to be? She seems nice!
- On your way over to the Eiffel tower for the fire works on Bastille Day you and some friends pick up a few bottles of champagne. You’ve walked a long way and decide to have some while sitting by the Seine. It’s quite crowded due to the celebration so no one wants to open the champagne. Since you’ve opened bottles before as a server without a problem, you offer to open the champagne. The bottle must have shook a lot on the walk because as soon as you take the aluminum off, the cork bursts off and champagne goes everywhere!
- You take a tour group to the oldest house in Paris exclaiming it’s from the 1400s and a young boy asks you if people still live there. You say no, now it’s actually a swinger’s club. Everyone laughs but he looks confused and says, “what’s a swinger?"
- You are in Brussels searching for the Manneken Pis fountain. You walk into a Godiva chocolate shop and ask directions from a sales girl to the “Manequin qui pis” fountain. Everyone in the store laughs and informs you it’s called “Manneken Pis” and you just asked for directions to “the fountain with the model who’s pissing”.
- At the beginning of a tour you go around the circle and get everyone’s names. One of the women on your tour informs you her name is Taffy. This was the name of your family dog while you were growing up so naturally the first thing that comes to mind. Mid way through, “REALLY!? Crazy, I had a…” you realize what you are about to say and switch to “… a cousin named Taffy.” You then spend the rest of the tour trying to dodge questions about this cousin of yours.
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