If you are not French or don’t normally speak or read with a French accent, please read that title again and apply the lovely French twist to those English words.
That will make the story I’m about to tell even more enjoyable.
Yesterday I went where the French go to get their wine. The ‘wine cave’ that at the back has what looks like petrol pumps which dispense wine. The concept is you bring in a jug, they fill it with either ‘ordinaire’ wine or ‘supérieure’ wine, they weigh, you pay a tiny amount and you walk away with an enormous grin on your face, a huge jug of wine and an amazing night ahead.
But that is for a different post.
Right now I’d like to share some American love that I got from the nice lady who helped this tourist fill her water bottle full of wine. Let’s call her Eloise. It will make things more fun if you read her part with that accent you just practiced.
Eloise was around 20 years old. Maybe a titch older? Her hair was a lovely dark brown and she had clearly spent way more time on it than I have all week. Eloise was wearing a grey sweater with an enormous heart on it, skinny jeans and some crazy trendy shortie boots. She came over to see if the English speakers could use some help. As I was looking around at the hoses and jugs, I was grasping the concept but was curious about the differences in the available wine. There was a rosé – got it. And then there were two reds – an ordinaire and a supérieure.
Me: hmmm I would like some wine, please. What is the difference between those two? [pointing at the ordinaire and the supérieure]
Eloise: [pointing at the supérieure] that one is better.
Me: lovely. I’ll take that one then.
Eloise then kindly fills the water bottle I had brought along with me because I’m new to this. Everyone else in line behind us is there with a 5L jug. Noted. I will take more jug wine home with me next time.
As we are walking up to the register, Eloise asks me what my country of origin is. (Have I mentioned her English is really good? And my French is really bad?)
Me: I’m from the states.
Eloise: [eyes get huuuuge!] ohhhhh. Oh my. Oh. I love America!! Which part?
Me: oh really? Great! I’m from … Minnesota? [saying Minnesota slowly and as a question since I’m never really sure how familiar others are with their US geography]
Eloise: [nods with recognition] ah yes.
Me: [surprised look on my face!] you know it?
Eloise: [nods no] no.
Me: oh haha I see. It’s in the middle top, just below Canada.
Eloise: [nods but doesn’t seem to make note of this fact] did you go to University?
Me: [thinking that’s a slightly strange question…] yes. In Iowa? It’s right below Minnesota in the middle.
Eloise: lots of parties?
Me: uh yes. Yes there were actually.
Eloise: [dreamy look on her face] ah. lots of parties. Like in Las Vegas? Los Angeles? Cancún? Spring break? [she seems lost in her party dream so I don’t dare tell her Cancún is in Mexico] … You a party girl??
I suddenly feel like she is looking at me and hoping I’m some character from Legally Blonde come to life right before her eyes. At her job, no less! … Of course I have a lot less cleavage and am not wearing pink.
Me: [considering the list she has presented me with] not really. Well, I guess sometimes [now looking at the water bottle I have just filled with wine…]
Eloise: [crest fallen] oh. [now a bit confused] …. But sororities? Fraternities?
Me: [also confused] yes. Those are there.
Eloise: [has a look as though life makes sense again] mm hmm. Parties … You like France?
Me: yes I am liking it! I am only here for a little while. I will be back in the states in a few months.
Eloise: ohhhh. I love America.
Me: yes it sure seems like it! Will you go some day?
Eloise: yes. I want to go to New York. And Miami. And Texas.
Me: huh. Sounds like great places to party!
Eloise: [starry eyed once more] yes…
I then pay for my bottle of jug wine (1.78€, mind you) and wish Eloise the best of luck in her travels. As I walk out of the wine cave, I feel like a celebrity! I’m giggling and can’t believe that exchange just happened. I reason that even if my 1.25L of wine isn’t great, Eloise’s excitement made my day. And I am going out on a slightly ‘head inflated’ limb and think I may have made Eloise’s day as well… Unless of course a sorority girl came in after me.