Sunday, 13 April 2008

The French

The French, eh what are they all about?

They click their fingers,
as if you weren't already aware of their presence...

They have ghastly eating habits,
mouths wide open, forks waving in the air, hands in the potatoes...

And then there is the snippiness, rudeness, and air of superiority.
(Them, not me, okay me as well)

You would think that when faced with the immovable object, me, there would be fireworks, but funnily enough that wasn't the case.......

Complex?
not really,
just very very naughty....


I normally wouldn't be standing for such boorish behavior, especially the finger clicking but there is something about the French that I just really like. Maybe it's because they don't care about what the world thinks of them or because they just do it their way and to hell with everyone else. If I didn't live in Ireland I think I would like to live in France. All those lovely strikes and snootiness is just so me.

My only problem with serving the French is that awful awful thing that happens to my voice. I put on this pathetic mock French accent, all "ooohhs" and "aaahhhs". I go very Yodaish and I'm unable to string a coherent sentence together at all.

"Ah sir yes lamb is the good! C'est magnifique is the lamb..." and so on. Oh wow I'm going red as I recall how cheesy I was. It's as if by sounding French I am speaking French. They must be as equally confused as they are horrified. And the worst thing being that there is no need for it as they all spoke perfect English.

Then there were the goodbyes. There was kissing, much kissing. Both cheeks. And it wasn't just the women. Good grief! There were 16 of them! Irishmen cant cope with such displays of public touching, not even from their own wives or partners. A simple but firm handshake is more than enough, a wave of a hand even. But being kissed on both cheeks by well wined French people with stubble was very unnerving for a simple boy like me. I was awkward and fumbled a lot much like a politician who's been forced to take part in a kick about with some kids. I couldn't wait for it to end......

It's all been very European this weekend at work. Saturday night we had 14 Swiss women for dinner. Nice-ish people, a bit pushy and a bit, well, rude. But we let them off with it as they are neutral and unlikely to go to war with us and you never know when you need to hide some cash or stolen gold. But wow do they dress badly. Okay bad isn't very fair but I have to say I haven't seen clothes like that since the 80's. They had the haircuts to match, lots of lady mullets and bad tinting. Think a Scorpions gig circa 1987 and you'll be about right.

I wasn't serving them but helped when their main courses were ready. I brought down the lamb. In my politest and clearest voice I announced the lamb, not because I was particularly proud of it (but it is damn fine), but because I needed to know who was having it.

No response.

I announced it again.

Lots of puzzled looks. Again, still no one would claim the by now cooling rack of lamb. Eventually one lady twigged what I was on about and she claimed ownership. There was much laughing.

Not by me.

My arm hurt.

Huh.

But as I walked away there was lots of fast talking followed by laughter. Each of the women took it in turn to impersonate my accent.

"LAWMB" they shouted in a half French half piss poor Belfast accent. I laughed. Most of that part of the restaurant laughed. Then I stopped laughing. And dished out a few dirty looks. Well you have to put them in their place no?

C'est magnifique are my looks of dirtiness.......as we say round here.

23 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

savannah said...

crap night on both sides of the pond, sugar, but at least you got tips! xoxo

Manuel said...

savannah: and kisses.......cant forget, even if i try, the kisses......

daisyfae said...

I brought down the lamb.

if i haven't already told you, "Baaa" means "No". go easy on the little bleaters...

Manuel said...

daisyfae: bwahahahahaha

Medbh said...

I curl my lip when people make fun of someone's accent. It's just so base. I can't imagine doing that as a tourist. Poor manners.

All the Europeans here kiss us on both cheeks, when really, one is enough.

Manuel said...

medbh: a good stiff, sweaty handshake is enough.....

ellie said...

That really made me laugh. thanks!

Manuel said...

ellie: oh madame....eet is good I make you laugh no?

ellie said...

It is, it is! Your a wee lawmb.

ellie said...

You're!

Manuel said...

ellie: ha!

belfast plate carrier said...

We had some germans in last week. Do remember in 'Mars Attacks!' when the androdgenous journalist asks 'do the martians have two sexes, like we do?' well that was like Penelope Cruz compared to these ladies. How I laughed when the (Polish) Commis chef was dressing their desserts and said 'And now I will draw a picture of a tank on them'

Blondefabulous said...

A smile with service, you must give, accent you must not.

Did you at least get good tips from the Swiss?

MJ said...

They kissed you on both cheeks?

Or all four?

Old Knudsen said...

Napoleon was Corsican not French, why could you not have used Sasha Distell ? I worked in France once and spoke terrible conversational French and all I can say is that France would be a lovely place if it wasn't for the French.

Manuel said...

bpc: bwahahahahaha

blondie: service charge! The Swiss don't tip well......same with the french....

mj: metaphorically.. I suppose they did....

old k: Ooooooohh check her our.....

Anonymous Boxer said...

I went to school in England when i was 15, and when it was time to read out loud, everyone was VERY quiet... after I said "WAWTER" the room erupted in laughs.

I feel your pain, man. but at least I wasn't put through the kissing.

lorraine@italianfoodies said...

Haha made me giggle like a little school girl too, I tend to do the same thing with the Italians but it's impossible to stop it even when you know you're doing it!! Was out for blogger dinner the other night and full conversation about how funny, witty and entertaining the blog is, you're a popular little fella aren't you, just send my dollas in the post pleasa:)

Manuel said...

boxer: school in England eh....now that's got to be worth a story or two.....

lorraine: you send mine first....awh thanks for that...I'm just bitter all the time and bitter is funny.....apparently....

Sharon said...

Were the Swiss women all wearing horrible long padded coats? If so, I saw them all out on Thursday night at a Thai place in Belfast. (Bloody great meal we had.)

Sam, Problemchildbride said...

I think the fact the Swiss were neutral is a reason to dislike them. Pick a side Goaty Hans! Sitting there hedging their bets and getting rich off everybody else's misery. Why I'd like to mess with the springs on their cuckoo clocks. That'd learn 'em not to let other nations do their fighting. A German victory would have done them no favours.

Manuel said...

sharon: funnily enough yes and bad faded, skin tight jeans......which Thai place was it? The one near Villa Italia?

sam: Goaty Hans......hahahahahahahaha!

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