Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

Douleurs dans le cul

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Ran into the president of the co-op board in the lobby earlier this week. He asked if I had moved into the apartment on the second floor. I warily told him I had since I knew this was going somewhere bad. He looked visibly relieved and said that all of the neighbors were in an uproar. He actually used the phrase “oh là là” and the word scandale and proceeded to tell me that they were complaining about my laundry drying on the balcony. “C’est complètement interdit,” he exclaimed redundantly. “Complètement.” Also not cool with the neighbors: my bike being out there (wtf?).

The sad thing is that this actually occurred to me when I put the stuff out there to dry. I had previously encountered places where hanging your clothes off the front balcony wasn’t allowed, but in those cases, there was an inner courtyard balcony. Not so here. Turns out that I now have to leave the doors open and park my drying rack in the middle of the living room which is incredibly annoying.

In case you can’t fathom a reason for this not being allowed, it’s ’cause it’s very low-class to do so and I’m in a neighborhood that is decidedly not. C’est ringard, ça.

David Sipress for the New Yorker

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Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

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