Le cul entre les deux chaises

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


The doubling makes all the difference

Here’s some graffiti from central Paris that’s either a misspelled comment on someone having a bubble butt or is about someone who takes exception to Michael Bublé. The beauty of life in Paris is that it could just as easily be either.

Notre-Dame and the spire of Sainte-Chapelle in the background.

Notre-Dame and the spire of Sainte-Chapelle in the background.


Architectural weirdness

Does anyone know what’s happening structurally under these buildings? They are located along the train tracks that lead to Saint Lazare station. The photo was taken from the Rue de Rome.

I understand (on some level) that these supports exist to protect the buildings from the vibrations of passing trains, but I’m curious about what, if anything, is inside. Like, is there storage in there? Parking garages?

Rue de Rome buildings


I am a genius

Obviously, I mean the opposite. I am regularly reminded how dumb I am. Let’s see if you are sharper than I am (I am fully expecting that to be the case).

Here are some signs from an area I frequently find myself walking around. While walking, I am generally listening to my iPod but I make note of all the street signs so that I can assign them to the map I am making in my head.

The first one jumped out at me because my attention is always drawn to American or Spanish things.

Paris Rue de Madrid

Then I noticed a street called Edinburgh because I’d never considered how it was pronounced in French.

Paris Rue d'Edimbourg

Hey, Naples! I’ve been there!

Paris Rue de Naples

Oh, Vienna — I’ve got to go there.

Paris Rue de Vienne

Eventually, I was reminded that Istanbul is not Constantinople.

Paris Rue de Constantinople

And all the while I was walking along and crossing over Rue de Rome, a major street in northwest Paris.

Paris Rue de Rome

Finally, it hit me as I neared the Métro station, one I’d used many times.

Paris Europe metro sign

All the streets in the area were named after European cities and I’d only just put that together because I am a ginormous moron. This is way worse than rabies since there is no thinking required, just basic sentience.

Seriously, I am way dense sometimes

The other week, GONE WITH THE WIND was playing in the cinema and I went to see it. I have easily seen the film at least two dozen times and read the book, all 1024 pages, twice. I hadn’t ever seen it projected though, which possibly explains why I had never realized that the “political meeting” many of the men attend “to protect [the] womenfolk” is actually a Klan gathering to go burn out a shantytown full of freed slaves.

It ain’t easy being this dumb.