Day 286: Coup de Foudre à CDG!

So my trip halfway across the world went without a hitch. Thank God! Hopping from aircraft to aircraft on stand-by tickets during President's Week is not for the faint of heart. It's a marvel that I'm not stranded at O'Hare, waiting for seats to clear up on oversold flights while praying for no-shows. I have experienced getting stuck halfway through a trip several times, where there wasn't much else to do except eat and try not to get too drunk at the airport bar. Good times.

I am grateful to the travel gods for making my trip happen, and more importantly, the fabulous flight attendants (CDG, JFK, and LAX based crew - thank you!) that kept me entertained with juicy gossip in the galley (my favorite travel pastime) and my glass filled with vodka and/or wine.

Per usual, my travel adventure commenced at the airport that after three years, I have grown to understand and accept, the one and only, Charles de Gaulle. Waiting on the air bridge to board the plane, I noticed some of the mechanics and cargo crew - who, poor things must have been frozen little popsicles in this weather - preparing the plane. I gave them a sympathetic look, told them to stay warm and wished them a bonne journée. While the others smiled and wished me a bon voyage in return, my polite concern particularly caught the attention of one of the mechanics who could not have been older than 25, who winked at me as I passed with my roller-board in tow. Only in Paris, I thought to myself, smiled and made my way to my seat.

After nestling in, and taking out the flight's necessities; my iPod, my cardigan, and putting on my navy blue Monoprix "in-flight slippers", I anxiously cracked open the trashy novel that I have been devouring, when I looked up and saw the mechanics boarding the plane for the cross-check before take-off. The young one, Garçon Wink spotted me at my seat and winked at me - again. At this poin,t I just had to run through my head what I had said to him to make sure that I didn't accidentally make some kind of advancement that I was unaware of. After going over our very brief exchange, I was in the clear, nothing I said could have possibly been misconstrued as an invitation for sex. Good. Moving on.

After several minutes, the mechanics came back through to exit the aircraft as more passengers were boarding, approaching them in the opposite direction. Garçon Wink, took this as an opportunity to tuck himself into my row and stood in front of the vacant seat next to me. He then turned to me and asked me if I spoke French - in French. I responded that I did, which then prompted him to hand me a piece of paper.

Because my travel status is unorthodox from the typical traveler, it's not uncommon that airport personnel would board the flight to check my passport again, or hand me a new boarding pass, so I accepted his offering without thinking twice. When I looked down at what he had given me, I blushed. The paper contained his phone number (he lived outside of Paris), name (Davide) and an illustration of a rain cloud (random). 

"Call me," he said with a smile and slipped away before I could tell him that I wouldn't be honoring his request. I looked like a total mess, I was tired, red, puffy and fugs and while I was flattered that someone besides my boyfriend who has to think I'm cute would even look twice at me, the union between Davide and I was clearly not an option. I was however impressed by the rain cloud drawing.

I quickly called Aurel who was at work and told him what had happened, "Coquine, indeed," he said with a chuckle where I could feel his head shaking over the fact that my friendliness always gets me into these situations, "Paris will miss you, especially Davide and I, bon vol, babe."

As the plane was taxiing out, Davide, wearing his little protective ear muffs and puffy coat, was waving to me from the tarmac as I looked back out through the window. Out of consideration, I thought about trying to gesture to him that I wouldn't be calling him but figured he'd probably forget about me by the end of the day and anyway, how would I even communicate that tactfully? So I just waved back and appreciated this experience, reminding me why I love Paris, this crazy and at times, over-sexed town.


  1. French people, and Parisian men in particular, must have a "flirtatious" gene. They never seem to miss an opportunity, do they? I'm also intrigued as to why he drew a cloud instead of the sun. Perhaps it was to remind you that Paris is beautiful in the rain (Woody Allen!) while you're in sunny CA!

    Off topic: I really like the category photos that you've added.

    My daughter, who is not a blog reader (some ppl are, some ppl aren't), surprised me last night by saying, "Mom, you know that blog you told me I should read? Can you believe those guys she dated?" and then continued to talk about your ex-boyfriends for about 10 minutes. It may have been a diversionary tactic to get me to stop asking questions about her new boyfriend, but I just wanted to let you know that a non-blog reader really enjoys your tales.

    1. "French people, and Parisian men in particular, must have a flirtatious gene".


      But in this case it's hard to blame the Parisians. Ella is just too adorable and cute.

    2. Oh geez. Thank you but you obviously didn't read the post. : )

      I looked awful. : )

      How are you, Gabe?

    3. @MK - I always get in trouble with my American cheer. I guess it comes across as an advancement. I had this problem in Tokyo too, I was confusing the natives with my outgoing nature.

      How sweet that your daughter reads me! I love it! Thank you for passing me on! Oooh she has a new bf...good for her! I remember she was going through transition in November. I'm so pleased to hear that she is moving on. Excellent, excellent news!

  2. This is one of the cultural quirks that I talk about with my American (female) students; this constant jeu de seduction which Frenchmen love to indulge in, with all women, any age, any form. From the greengrocer who will flirt with me over the sale of a bag of kiwis to the guy serving me my morning creme, most male-female discourse here is seduction-saturated. For some outsiders, it can be seen as swarthy and out of place, but I always tell me students it is (usually) innocent and just take it with a grain a salt. I wrote a post about this awhile back called "The Myth of the French Lover" which deals with this cultural tenet: Frenchman thinking all women can and should fall in love with them...all it takes is a sly wink (or note, in your case).

    Enjoy sunny California for us!

    1. I'm going to check out your post! It sounds like an informative observation on this (humorous, in my opinion) subject.

      I was once at a hotel talking to the concierge with a friend of mine who was visiting and the front door opened breezing my skirt up a bit. I said to my girlfriend (in English) that the wind from the door lifted my skirt up. The concierge said "Well then for my sake, I hope the door keeps opening."

      Living in France for almost three years, the comment went right over my head where I smiled and went back to asking questions about the hotel. My friend's mouth was wide open, she was shocked. I would have been to a few years ago, I guess I'm desensitized a bit.

      It's all harmless. I know it bothers some, but I'm not one of those people. It's all in good fun?

  3. Oh you heartbreaker you!;)

    As a wise person once told me: You can be on a diet and still look at the menu;) So long as you don't order!;)


    1. So a relationship is like a diet?

    2. Hi Duchess!!!

      yeah he was a bit young to even glance at on the menu. He was like bite-sized...tiny little thing. Nothing like this has ever happened at the airport! Airport personnel is generally very serious.

      It was cute.

      How are you?? : )

    3. Still happy and content on my Duke "diet";)

      Finishing up a Master's course and taking a three-month hiatus to prepare a Spanish exam to be taken in May, at home as it turns out, since we're flying back on the 16th of May and not on the 1st of June as initially planned.

  4. Oh, poor Davide :(
    You're suck a heartbreaker! Even in monoprix slippers :)

    1. Seeing him wave on the tarmac was just heartbreaking! but also the cutest thing I have seen in a while.

      I think he pre-made the little note for any nice American boarding the plane. This makes me feel better. Hopefully he issued another one later on in the day!

  5. I hope you are having fun in sunny CA. I am jealous! Eat some mexican food, but don't post any pictures or I will hate you. ;)