Le cul entre les deux chaises

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


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Great word: pyjamas

Bananas in Pyjamas is a thing that makes me & my BFF laugh.

Bananas in Pyjamas is a thing.

I was sitting at an outdoor bar near the beach in Barcelona on a sunny day like any of the hundreds I spent while living there. This particular day I was staring intently into the pint of beer in front of me, willing myself to drink it before it got warm or I threw up.

I was achingly hung over. My head hurt, my liver ached, my kidneys were screaming in protest and the air was starting to heat up like an oven. Throwing up was a very real possibility. Instead, I took a sip. It stayed down, so I took another. Feeling no additional ill effects, I gulped the rest of the beer down and felt many degrees better. Hair of the dog always does the trick, if you can stomach it.

Feeling the world come into focus again, I looked up from the table top and saw that Franc, my friend’s husband, was staring at me oddly. I met his look with my own contemplative one and he finally exploded: “Are you wearing pyjamas?!”

I was and I didn’t care who knew it. “I barely slept, I’m hungover, it’s hot as hell. It’s a miracle I showered today, so, yes, I’m wearing pyjama pants.” I considered the matter closed, but when my friend Melissa returned from the bathroom, Franc incredulously told her I was attired in sleepwear. “Oh, that’s a good idea. I wish I’d worn pajamas,” she said. Franc is South African and sometimes misunderstandings cropped up between our cultures. “What’s with you American girls?” he asked us. “You’re never embarrassed about anything!”

The truth is I’m not embarrassed very often, but it’s not because I’m American. It’s because, like Rhett Butler, I just don’t give a damn.

Think about something

Pyjama (my preferred spelling) is a unique word because it’s the same in my main languages: pajamas (US), pyjamas (UK), pyjama (FR), pyjama (ES). ORIGIN: early 19th cent.: from Urdu and Persian, from pāy [leg] + jāma [clothing.]

And, just for fun