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Day 66: Have A Surprise Date!



This afternoon, I received a text from Aurélien asking if I was free this evening. I didn't have much planned, just organizing and making the most of my last week in Paris at Phil's, and wanting to see him one last time before I go. He was pleased and cryptically instructed me to meet him on rue Oberkampf at 8:00pm. That's it. No further information. 

So here's the thing: I love surprises, I just don't always know how to dress for them. The last time a guy "surprised" me, I ended up showing up to a Runyon Canyon hike in Miu Miu mary janes and a cocktail dress. Surprise indeed. He didn't even change the plan and had me trudging up steep and dusty terrain in heels. I looked like an idiot. That's one of the things that I hated about dating in L.A; 9 out of 10 guys are the outdoorsy type where this is a typical date scenario. I'm not outdoorsy and think dates should consist of candlelight instead of cruel and unforgiving natural sunlight, a meal and wine. Call me old-fashioned. Fortunately here in Paris, I don't have to worry about sneak-attack outdoorsy guys so much, and since we were meeting in Oberkampf, I figured I was free from wildlife. To be safe, I wore ballet flats. 

I arrived and he was waiting on the corner for me with his little helmet in hand, smiling. I was happy to see him too. He escorted me into a dark club called the Nouveau Casino to see one of my favorite bands Deerhoof. So he was listening to me and not texting when we were having drinks last week at Le Tape! I had seen the show advertisement poster and had told him that I liked them. While what I thought was texting, he was buying the tickets. This guy just keeps getting better and better.

There were a lot of Americans in the crowd and started talking up two guys in front of me about the band. The thing was that they were speaking English to each other and kept responding to me in French. It was like a cruel joke. I kept speaking English back and making my accent sound more American, so they knew I wasn't a French girl who spoke really amazing English. At least I think I speak really amazing English, but that's another conversation. But they continued, if not insisted on speaking back to me in French. The whole fun of bumping into "your people" here is being able to converse comfortably in your native tongue, and they were denying me that pleasure. I wanted to join in on the fun too!  

It wasn't because I couldn't keep up with the conversation or had difficulty understanding them, it was that I don't speak much English here to begin with so when I am able to speak, I'd like to and don't get me started on the obvious pretentious factor. After Franco-nazi #1 told me he was from New Jersey, I finally asked why were speaking French. He said he wanted to practice which was actually quite cute and felt bad for being such a bitch in my head. The thing was, I just don't think I'm the best candidate to practice with, and if anything would ruin him with my harsh slang and incorrect conjugations. Clearly, there were other people more fit for the task. Other people like Aurélien? Or the other hundred native French speakers present. Just to throw some ideas out there. 

Our conversation suddenly ended with the sound of guitars tuning from the opening band who after the first three songs,  ended up not loving. The lead singer was uncomfortably emaciated where I wanted to shove Croque Monsieurs down her throat, and had no idea what language she was singing in. They played a painfully long set and was pleased when it was over. 

Deerhoof, on the other hand, was incredible and played an hour and a half set. They are definitely an acquired sound with a distinct mix of indie and progressive rock topped off with a bite-sized lead singer from Tokyo (my second love, after Paris). It was a perfect surprise date bringing me back to my youth when I would go to shows more regularly. These days and shamefully, wine and gossip out win live music. 
 
Nouveau Casino
109, rue Oberkampf
75011 Paris

1 comment:

  1. I just stumbled upon your blog recently and this is beyond adorable. Your writing style is hilarious and it is rare that I actually "laugh out loud" while reading, but you have managed this on quite a few occasions with me! :) Anyway, I just wanted to say great job and that I'm really enjoying reading!

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