"Brrr, even the idea of a cold drink gives me chills."
"If only my toothache was not so bad. Appointment! Right! Where is my planner? Here you are, I almost forgot about it! Well, not almost, I actually did. I have been so absent minded lately. Dr.Renard would have me killed if I missed it again!"
"Dàccord, 12:30 Tuesday, rue Faubourg St. Honoré 34."
"Where was I…"
"Café Latte…No, it always turns my stomach, too much milk."
"Cappuccino…Yes, that is the one!"
"Shall I take a dessert to go with it? That flipping tooth of mine…Ha! It almost got me. No, there is no way I can refuse a tartelette au citron because of some bloody tooth."
"Oui, un cappuccino et tartelette au citron, s'il vous plait."
"Dàccord, c'est tout?"
The fake smile of a mid-aged waiter and the miserable weather does not help with the mood at all. It is fascinating how blue one can feel in such a beautiful city. I still am not considered Parisian here. I probably never will be. You constantly get the annoyed look, as if you have done something wrong or you do not belong here. No matter how you act or speak, you will always be a foreigner here. Well, I could respond the same way, squeeze in a fake smile and adopt that "I do not care about you too" look. I suppose, life would be easier than just trying to please everyone and trying to be nice and all.
"Cappuccino, mademoiselle," -he flopped my coffee on the table, some of it spilled out and wet my heart-shaped ginger cookie, which currently was the only romantic thing about Paris to me. Now it is is ruined too.
"Merci," -I murmured.
No glass of water avec my coffee, huh? Sure, I forgot I am a foreigner. Only the real Parisians deserve to wash coffee down their throats. Oh well, what are you going to do about that.
"Excusez-moi, monsieur, ou est ma tartelette?"
"Une minute," -the waiter went away.
"S'il vous plait, mademoiselle!"
Ugh, he even forgot my dessert, the most joyous part of my day. I shall not return to this café ever again. What was it? Chez Vivienne? Come chez my home and I will make you a cappuccino with the foamiest of foams, with two ginger hearts and a tall glass of water. I can bake too. I do need some practice to perfect my tartelettes, not going to lie, but I am almost there. What a waste of money, those Parisian cafés.
…rie de rien…non, je ne regrette rien…
Piaf! Oui…très traies oui…my ers are in heaven! This café just got ten times better. I may come here just for the music, if they will keep playing Piaf. Her music brings me to Paris I want to be in. It lifts you and flops you right in the heart of the 60's in Paris, the period of Les Trente Glorieuses, the three glorious decades and the time when Piaf's music was at its peek. I am sure it was magical. Not that Paris is not magical today, it is just…different.
Mmmm, that sour lemony taste and the crisp beautiful pastry case, mastered to perfection by the French pattisiers. Wonder if I am the only one who scrapes off the smooth citrusy filling before eating the rest of the pastry. I know, I cannot be the only one. It is time I go, or else I will miss my French classes.
"L'addition, s'il vous plait," -I called the waiter.
He was chatting away and laughing at some French jokes they would make about tourists with other waiters, some bursting in tears, holding their stomachs, trying to control their fits of laughter. He looked at me, then at his colleagues, they laughed again and he came to me with an air of slight annoyance around him.
"Autre chose?" -he asked out of politeness.
"Non, merci. L'addition, s'il vous plait."
He plopped a metal cup with a check in it right in front of me. I took it and looked at the price. Ten euros, the price of a single French lesson I am taking. I hesitantly took a ten euro bill out of my scruffy-edged leather wallet and put it into the cup.
"Merci," -he walked away with it.
And here I go again, paying for something I could have easily made myself before leaving home this morning. I would not have my mood ruined by the questionable service, as well. Next time, I know I will be keeping those euros for an additional French lesson, maybe I will be treated like a real Parisian, once I speak it properly. If that does not work out, I will get myself a new wallet.
The rain had started as she walked out of Chez Vivienne, jumping over the water puddles, leaving the café, filled with Parisians, smoking cigarettes and chattering away cozily sat in two around tiny little tables, cluttered with cups of coffee, bottles of Perrier and tiny ashtrays. Waiters with white shirts and black aprons were also enjoying a smoke under a shelter, observing the passers-by and that was the life at Chez Vivienne.