Le cul entre les deux chaises

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

Your friendly neighborhood Speeder-Man


Winter has finally come to la petite couronne. Snow, my favorite thing came last week.

Vue de ma fenêtre

Vue de ma fenêtre

Among the many things I love about snow is the chance to walk around in it like a boss, never falling, slipping or losing my footing in any way. I accomplish this by using my chief weapons, balance and traction. The balance comes from the eons I spent doing ballet and the traction comes from a keen eye for good footwear.

Pulling out my super winter shoes (not to be confused with regular winter shoes), I thought of Spider-Man and how, despite the sadness I feel about the continued Americanization of the world, having common cultural icons can be very useful.

The situation went like this: a friend of mine in Lyon who literally lived on Steep Side of Big Ass Hill (Montée de la Grande Côte), had bought a new pair of boots and was looking forward to wearing them out but was concerned about sliding all the way down the street and then not being able to make her way up again. The boots were made by El Naturalista, a Spanish company. Being well versed in Spanish shoe brands, I knew she wouldn’t have any problems, but how to express this in French?

spiderman-cartoon-comicI actually tried combinations of real words that I thought might make sense like “those shoes stick/are adhesive” and “they are like suction” but nothing was getting through. Finally, I said, “Don’t worry. The boots are like Spider-Man” except I pronounced it French (Speeder-Man) and she totally knew what I meant. When she got home later that night, she said that I’d been right and proceeded to make suction sounds (shrup-shrup) while making Spidey moves.

Look at some things

Since I don’t take very good photos, here are the two days that Suzanne et Pierre took to the streets to document all the snowy goings-on around them. For other takes, here is a curated BuzzFeed collection of Paris under neige and some great images of Montmartre (where there’s actually a hill) enjoying the snow from “A French Frye in Paris.” The Frye’s post was also Freshly Pressed this week, so super congratulations to him!!

Author: le cul en rows

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

6 thoughts on “Your friendly neighborhood Speeder-Man

  1. I loved Paris under the snow but it didn’t last long enough for us to go to all of our favourite places to take pictures…too bad. Thanks for the links back to our pictures.

    You can also find some great images of the snow at Matthiasphotos. The snow inspired a lot of people to take out their camera and see the city differently.

    • Was it just me or did the Internet seem to explode with pictures of Paris under the snow? I guess there is the novelty of it (apparently there hadn’t been this much snow in decades) as well as the global familiarity with many Parisian landmarks, but I started to see photos everywhere!

      • Not just you. There were tons of pictures of Paris in the snow…My excuse was that it was a first for me so I was allowed to post pictures of the event.

      • No need for excuses for us — we’re foreigners and the snow was a novelty for everyone. I was just surprised at how snow in Paris seemed to capture the imagination of everyone on the Internet, not just people in France.

  2. J’adore le language mash-up!

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