Day 203: Oh mon Dieu!

Illustration by Fifi Flowers

Last night, Aurelien and I went to Franprix to pick up wine, cheese and salad for dinner. With the holiday season now here, we're trying to eat light on our quiet nights in when we're not going to Christmas dinners and apéros to avoid post-season January bloat. Only in France would wine and cheese be considered a light meal. 

At first, we thought Franprix was closing because the sliding doors were open only a crack, thinking that this was posing as a deterrent from allowing new customers from coming in but they assured us that they were ready and open for business. Ok, I'm exaggerating, they didn't assure us anything, this is Paris. When we asked them if they were still open, they looked at us, half-shrugged and nodded. Good enough in these parts. In The States there would be without question, a law against having customers slide through a crack of two panels of glass that appear to be non-functioning in order to enter the supermarket.

The thing about the Franprix by his house is that without fail, every single time I have been there, there is hardcore rap blasting throughout the store - in English of course. I have heard some really offensive lyrics where it's obvious that I'm an Anglophone because my mouth is wide open in complete and total shock. The other patrons appear to be oblivious to the fact the "Face Down, Ass Up" by 2 Live Crew is playing while they are perusing the aisles and loading up their baskets.

As we were leaving, a woman who was bigger than us - and seriously not by much - got stuck in the crack of the broken sliding doors. It was horrible. Just as this mayhem was taking off, the vehement and frantic "Ni**as in Paris" started playing, adding another element to this absurd situation. It wasn't funny that the woman was stuck in between the doors, or even the song, but her nonchalance to the situation certainly was. If it were me, I would be screaming bloody hell while flailing my arms around for dramatic measure, but this woman seemed at peace with her fate and took this opportunity to tell the employees who were trying to help her out that her carte fidélité didn't deduct the advertised 15% off her total bill. 

Customers who were now piling up by the door were getting anxious and couldn't resist offering their advice and commenting while the employees were stuffing the woman's puffy coat through the cracks. "Push harder!" "Get her skin through the cracks, not just the coat!" as well as girlfriends hissing at their boyfriends that they "should have gone to Monoprix." and that they were going "to miss Plus belle la vie à cause de cette merde!". Our favorite comment was when someone suggested that the staff press the button to open the doors! Really? Aurel and I just looked at each other. If it was as simple as opening the doors with "the button", none of this would have ever occurred in the first place. It's like when asking a sales associate at a clothes store to go look in "the back" to find your size. As if there is this magic place where customers are forbidden to go that have everything they're really looking for because they would hate for it to be on the selling floor for it to be actually - gasp - sold!

After ten minutes, another rap tune - this one unidentifiable to my untrained ears - and an R&B slow-jam, the woman was set free. Thank God. She didn't seem at all affected by what had happened, it was us, the other customers who were all in shock. The woman thanked the staff, wished them a good evening and went on her way.

Aurel and I arrived at home with our "light meal" and while the woman was nowhere near obese, after seeing someone get stuck between doors at the local supermarket, we decided to skip the cheese and wine and just make a salad. I hope I never get stuck between a sliding door in France but if do, I'll remember this woman and echo her serenity as the staff is trying to "push my skin through the cracks."


  1. Now I'm feeling kind of worried after eating that third macaroon (really tiny ones!) with my afternoon tea. Maybe I shouldn't attempt a trip to the grocery store for the next couple of days, at least not until the fat settles.

    Hilarious story - and your words made it come alive. I could easily imagine the entire episode from the guys shrugging when you asked if the store was still open to the woman's good natured response to being stuck in a door. Life in Paris - it never ceases to surprise me!

  2. I would have been having total wth moment! With the rap music, seeing someone being trapped between doors and everyone giving their opinions. Geez, what an evening! Note to myself, do NOT go into a grocery store with broken doors! ;-) xo

  3. Mon Dieu, quelle horreur!

    I think that about covers it. What a bunch of useless morons.

  4. No way! "Niggas in Paris" playing at the grocery store? That's so funny! I must admit I too have gotten stuck in between sliding doors back when I was 11. I was able to wiggle myself out so I avoided all the drama. :D

  5. @MK - I saw your photo, you have nothing to worry about! You will not be getting stuck in doors!! lol! Btw...what KIND of macaroon was it?

    @lauren - LOL! This market ALWAYS has rap playing. I don't get it! I was dying inside but didn't want to appear like I was laughing at the woman. I was pinching my wrist under my coat to keep my face neutral. It was quiet an episode!

    @Duchess - Awww, Ils essayaient et finalement ils ont réussi! Mais c'etait gênant! : / errr.

    @Elsa - Oh yes, 'Niggas in Paris'. The song alone cracks me up but in this scenario, I nearly lost it! my favorite lyric is "Pardon my french but I'm in France y'all!" geez...