Bonjour monsieurs, madames

13 May 2004 at 14:43 Leave a comment

Today I had to go to the Prefecture. Always, well, excruciating. I actually had an appointment this time, and as it happened, things went smoothly. We left the house at 8am and by 10am I was home again, making tea.

Had that interesting French social custom happen to me again: when someone enters a room where a large number of people are waiting (this happened to me in doctor’s offices in the South of France every single time) they pause in the doorway and say, “Bonjour, monsieurs, madames”, and everyone says, “Bonjour” back. It hadn’t happened to me very often since I’ve been in Paris, but today it did. Such an interesting custom. In America, of course, you would act like you didn’t see them come in. And that’s how most people here in Paris act. But today, crowded around the closed doors of the Prefecture on a chilly, cloudy Spring day, two of the office people going in to work said “Hello”. It was very nice.

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Entry filed under: Paris.

page 18, line 4 in an Irish pub in Paris

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What I’ve been reading:

  • James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, L.L.D. (London, 14 King William Street, Strand: William P. Nimmo, 1876). 4 years ago
  • Marsilio Ficino, Letters of Marsilio Ficino, v. 3, trans. Language Dept. School of Economic Science, London (New York: Gingko Press, 1985). 4 years ago
  • Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988). 4 years ago
  • Stephanie Kallos, Broken for You (New York: Grove Press, 2004). 5 years ago
  • Marsilio Ficino, Letters of Marsilio Ficino, v. 2, trans. Language Dept. School of Economic Science, London (New York: Gingko Press, 1985) 5 years ago

T. Anderson Painter

I am a misanthrope. No one ever believes me, but this seems to prove my point.

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