Monday, 16 July 2007

French anger management

Apparently my trigger happy middle finger isn't so much of a problem after all...and I still have a lot to learn about insulting people.

As I was riding home on Friday, I crossed the main boulevard right before the light changed. Half way across, this hung over greasy gigolo looking guy in a fancy BMW almost hits me (made even worse by the fact that my brakes don't work so well). He's going left around the place and I'm going across it so we're within screaming distance so I yell "Watch out jerk!" in the vous form of course. He screams back something incomprehensible. I'm so wound up by another near death bike experience and by trying to control my middle finger so I scream "I had the right of way - you ran the light!" and he screams back "something something salope!" I stop my bike and scream louder and louder since he's in a moving vehicule "va te faire foutre enculé". As I slow down to hide among the people on the place, just to make sure he's not gonna come after me, I am greeted by a round of applause from the resident drunks.

So when I recount this to Jerome, me being so proud I was able to not flip someone off for once, he shakes his head in disbelief and says "I think I'll have to explain the intricacies of cursing people out." "But I thought the finger was really bad." "No, some people have been shot for less."

Oops. I guess I still have a lot to learn about being French and anger management.


wcs said...

You go, girl ! Being able to dish out the curses when you're scared and pissed off at the same time will be the real proof of your mastery of the language. I wish I could do it as well as you ! ;)

The Late Bloomer said...

Man, sounds like he SOOOO deserved that! And you were right to tell him off; I'm always too afraid to even express my anger like that. I wish I would do it more often myself.

I was bicycling up a street in my town one day recently, a one-way street, but I was to the right -- this car came up behind me, and as the street was narrow, he was pissed that I was even THERE. He honked and yelled something about bicycle paths -- but there AREN'T any on that particular street; for God's sakes, I had every right to be there! I was so stunned, I couldn't even get a word out of my mouth, and he was long-gone anyway as he was in a car.

I swear, I will never understand people here some days -- this was a SUNDAY, and you'd think people could learn to relax. There wasn't even any traffic... It upset me so much that the rest of my bike-ride was spoiled. I have to stop letting things like that upset me so much.

Deb said...

I sure as hell hope you wear a helmet! Too many crazy fast drivers here in France.

Good on you for cursing him out!

MadameK said...


I just went back and read your "I flip therefore I am" post.

Sweeet! I am somehow relieved to know that I am not the only ill-tempered American running around France flipping people off.

Plus he called you a salope---which in my book means you can legally break at least one of his car windows no?

*deep sigh* My Brooklyn sensibilities are simply not suited to this country.

Emily said...

Men in BMWs...I don't want to say more in case you have readers that fit into that category, but I think they're a breed of their own. I had a problem with one the other day as I was driving my little Clio to the Geneva airport.

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