Saturday night, it was roughly 11 pm, and I was making my way towards St. Michel for one last hurrah at the Canadian bar (yes, you read that right). I am sitting on a bench next to guy-with-10,000-lbs-of-luggage waiting for the 4 train, reading Plato and Platypus Walk into a Bar...understanding philosophy through jokes because I went a little crazy at W.H. Smith yesterday (yes, Shakespeare and Co, I cheated on you).
The guy looks over at me, I can tell he's lurking. I make sure to keep my head down. Then he speaks, in English with an accent I can't quite place. But not French. "What is that book about?" Or something of the sort.
I tell him philosophy. With a French-ish tint to the word. Since it's the same word, I am hoping to convey to him that he can also address me in French. He continues in English, to my annoyance, to say something to the effect of, what, philosophy so late at night? At this point I've gathered that he's pretty fluent in English, and not French. And if such is the case, how is it that he can't read the stupid cover of the book?
"Jokes," I say, defending myself, "It's about jokes, too." Oh, he says, okay. I just couldn't read something so intellectual so late at night.
Well, I wanted to say, then we have no business talking. But I stuck with the "it's got jokes in it."
Then, he made an effort to advance the conversation. I, trying to read my "intellectual" book, did not so much appreciate. "So, what do you think of the metro system?" Seriously? What do you think of the metro system? I told him that it got me where I needed to go. It wasn't as nice as the London system, but more extensive. He did one of those things where he didn't completely understand my point, and nodded in agreement while saying something completely contrary to what I had just said about London.
Trying to live by the categorical imperative, I didn't tell him he was an idiot. I smiled and made sure that I entered the train through a different door, and continued reading my philosophy jokes.
I then made my way to a Candadian bar, where I proceeded to have a conversation with some guy about football, which turned into why he hates the rive droit, and could never live anywhere except for Montparnasse. When Minnie arrived, I was somewhat relieved, because he was about 10 years too old for me to even think about it, but was also a little disappointed. I am finally to the point where I am comfortable having a conversation in French. And I was talking to a real, live French person about something unrelated to school.
Instead, Minnie, Jess and I had a grand old time with a couple of French Candadians that came to watch Montreal play the NY Islanders (hahahaha. Long Island is still funny). They stuck around for a few too many drinks, and I found myself at a café sharing an 8 euro bowl of ice cream with Jess at 5 am waiting for the metros to open.
I'm a little proud of myself for finally having the out-all-night night, the day before everyone leaves. On the other hand, I'm still tired.