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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The benefits of Christmas in July

1. If you “celebrate” in July, you can take advantage of les soldes! I was able to get myself some fancy (much-needed) French rubber rain boots 50% off! I love a good deal.

2. It always bothered me in Hollywood movies when kids got bikes for Christmas. I never knew anyone who got one since giving a kid an outdoor toy when there are several feet of snow on the ground is cruel. If you get a bike in July though, it’s the perfect gift!

I got myself a new (second hand) bike to ride to work since my normal bike is way too nice to leave locked up outside all day. This one’s my color (purple!), from my decade (the 80s!) and weighs about 6 pounds (which is nuts!). It’s also genuinely français, so it blends into the Parisian streets. I lurve it a lot and have already gotten it new brake lines and am going to get it a new seat saddle and tires since they also seem to be from the 80s, which is less cool when safety and my butt’s comfort are involved.

My new baby

My new baby

Have a merry weekend!


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Monoprix further negates need to go to US

I apologize for the poor iPhone quality of this picture, but I was so excited to find Burt’s Bees products here in France that I was too shaken up to dig my actual camera out of my bag.

Burt's Bees at MonoprixThis Tutankhamun’s tomb (aka KV62) -level discovery happened at the Monoprix near the La Motte Picquet métro stop but I later found the same items at the one off République near the Temple métro station.

If you’re not familiar with the Burt’s Bees family of products, get your hands on some now! The cuticle cream (to which I am obsessively devoted) is wonderful and does miracles for hands in all conditions. Within easy reach of this very computer, I have four different BB hand cream products because they are legitimately the best.


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My Spidey Sense

The first time I remember my Spidey Sense kicking in, I was walking around Downtown Crossing in Boston, killing time between classes. I was suddenly compelled to enter a store that wouldn’t normally interest me. It was a place that sold weird alarm clocks and consumer weather forecasters and complicated calculators. I went directly to the back of the store and came face to face with this.

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I used to collect lions and, though this was in the early days of my Felidae-fancy, I was incredibly excited by this find. I bought it on site and didn’t realize till I got home that it was also a flashlight, something I actually needed.

Since then, my Spidey Sense has pulled me down side streets, urged me to take alternate routes and accidentally introduced me to wonderful things. I trust in Spidey and will almost always follow where he leads. The sensation is what led me to discover that BK was in Paris: one day, I was walking along and, while turning my head to check for traffic, my eyes instead zeroed in on a familiar logo in the distance.

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Most recently, I was stumbling around the Haussmann / Havre area in the 9è and my Spidey Sense stopped me short in front of this window. Can you see what drew my attention?

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That’s a trick question, because what my Spidey Sense felt was that there were boxes of Oops! All Berries inside the store on the back side of this display. *I* would never have known it and may have glossed over the place entirely since it’s a kind of Urban Outfitters-wannabe that caters to teens and that’s not really my bag.

But the Oops! All Berries. I’ve never held a box that was so full of Oops! All Berries. Somehow, they had been shipped so that none of the berries were crushed, resulting in a box that felt solidly full. And when the cashier checked me out, she didn’t notice that the price in the computer was 20% less than the ticketed price. (I didn’t correct her because this was all part of Spidey’s plan.)

Moral of the story: Spider-Man is a force for good in the world. Trust in the Spidey Sense.


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I Want The Same!

Walking down a section of the rue des Petits Champs in the 2è, I comment to my New York companion that it’s like Canal Street because there are a lot of shops that sell knock-offs. At that precise moment, we pass this, one of my favorite places in town.

I Want The Same

I Want The Same

I sometimes go out of my way just to pass it because it makes me smile every time.

Related to me

On a road trip through southern France with my best friend in 2003, we stopped in a small shop to buy some water. There was a British family in there getting supplies too. The father was losing patience with his two kids and told them to just choose one thing and head to the register. The daughter hadn’t made up her mind yet, so her dad grabbed one item near her and turned away. Very primly, she pulled on the bottom of his shirt and with a little frown, said, “No, daddy. I don’t want _that_ one. I want this one” as she indicated a different thing. Maybe you had to be there, but that little girl still makes me laugh.