when a stranger calls.

This past weekend Aurél was at the rock festival Rock Dan Tous Etats up near Normandy; a gift he offered his dad to thank him everything he did for the wedding and to have a weekend bonding trip tous les deux. I was asked if I would like to come along and before he could even finish the question and I quickly said no. I really am not a fan of outdoor summer festivals. Like really not. Shocking right? You'd think it was me stage diving at Lollapalooza (even if the lineup in '95 was pretty epic), but no, so not my thing. 

I did in fact, go to a festival a million years ago when I was 19 called The Gathering of the Vibes up near Bard College, and it pretty much confirmed my prejudgements. Aside from the scorching heat pounding on my young, vulnerable and supple skin, the few recollections I have is the thick and dense mud that my tent was propped up. The consistency, as my foot sunk down several inches with each step, as well as the curiously foul smell, lent to suspicions that we were living on top of human feces for the weekend.

So did I want to go to the festival up North? No. A simple no surely would have sufficed but you know me, there's always a story on why.

With Aurél gone for the weekend, it meant that I was home...ALONE. Ahhh! I screamed at the top of my lungs running in and out of every room and jumping on the bed eating cereal! I wish I had done that, I really should have but no I had a weekend of dates planned with moi, turning my weekend into a spa getaway in Paris. What a diva, I know. The weekend consisted of living room yoga sessions, Velib rides to the market, experimenting with new recipes, applying homemade facial scrubs and masks using the herbs and ingredients I have in my kitchen, self waxing (ouch!), toe painting, wine tastings, champagne toasts and dancing with myself in my living room. I'm just going to say it: it was pretty awesome. I really need to entertain myself more often. I show myself a good time!

Just as I was writing this post to you, recounting on my weekend "getaway", my phone rang. And it was private.

"Allô." the voice on the receiving end whispered.
"Who is this?"
"Tu sais." he continued to whisper.
"No, I don't know. You called me. Who is this?"
"Je peux pas te dire."
"You can't tell me? You must be trying to reach someone else. Ca arrive. Ciao."

And I hung up. You have got to be kidding me? My first weekend alone and I'm getting pranked? N'importe quoi.

20 seconds later, my phone rang again. Private.

"Oui?" I said with somewhat intrigue. 
"Pourquoi t'as accroché?" he said, again still whispering.
"Why did I hang up? Because I don't want to chat with someone who is unwilling to identify himself. Simple."
"Tu me connais."
"I know you? Okay, so what is your name?"
"Je peux pas te dire. Y a trop de monde ici."
"You cannot tell me your name because there are a lot of people there?"
"Okay, whatever. Good night."

I hung up. The phone rang again.

"Ecoute, if you don't stop calling, I can have this call traced with SFR. It's possible."
"Je sais que tu es toute seule."

He knew that I was alone. At this point I was beyond freaked out and slithered over to the corner of the room to pull my gauzy curtains shut. Nestled in the corner of the room with my egg white mask starting flake off of my face, I stayed on the line because I wanted to know how much information this fucker did in fact have. It was a combination of Scream or my worst fear When A Stranger Calls. I let my imagination entertain thoughts that he was in my bedroom hence why he could not speak louder. Quelle horreur!

Every time I asked him a question about something specific about him or me (so he could confirm his claims that he knew me) he was unable and would ask me mundane questions like, what I was doing. This somewhat eased my fear, and perhaps he was merely a dumb prank caller.

"Look, I'll stay on the phone with you if you just give me one piece of information about me. Like what's my name? You want to scare me, that much is obvious, so come on, scare me. What's my name?"

No response. Just heavy breathing. 

"I thought so." I hung up. Just as I was dialing Aurel, the action was interrupted by guess who?

"Sir! We're done here!" I snapped.
"Tu me connais, je te jure." he continued on.
"I know you, yet you won't tell me your name. Communication amongst humans don't work this way."
"Je comprends," 
"If you really understood, you would stop calling."
"Je veux parler avec toi."
"And I want Ugly Betty back on the air." I let out an exhale to display my exasperation. "Okay, what does my name start with, just the letter, allez." 

Still crouching tiger hidden me in the corner, I waited for an answer. Scrambling to respond he whispered "S". 

"Wrong answer, good bye. Also I called the police," I lied, "So if you bother me again, expect a visit from les Po Pos. Bonne nuit connard."


For the sake of brevity of this post, I compacted all seven of his phone calls into three, but the reality was that this guy called me seven times! After my final threat, he never did call back. I can't help but wonder if he will bother to call again, after all he still has my number. On a side note here, I have never been prank called in French, and as freaked out as I was I couldn't help but think, "damn, those are some pretty good conjugations going on! And the use of the subjunctive? Pas mal, Madame, pas mal!" You can take the girl out of Alliance Française but...

I finally got in touch with Aurél and he told me that there are crazy people that just dial random numbers and he just happened to luck out with getting a young female to pick up, and it was only by coincidence that he knew I was alone. I would really love to think that and will continue to do so....until he calls again. Dun, dun, DUN!!

Note: So, word on the street is that Google reader is non plus, so if you want to follow me and upcoming posts on madness, mayhem and mischief in Paris, check me out on Bloglovin' here!


  1. Oh that sounds awful! I don't even answer private phone calls on my mobile as I get wrong numbers all the time. I think this kind of caller has a ready made phrases like "I know you are alone" to scare people. If this would happend to me, I wouldn't answer anymore after first call :P

    1. I honestly thought it was someone I knew messing with me, then my curiosity grew and wanted to know and chose to handle it how I did. But that's just me!

      He had just guessed that I was alone, he didn't know and hasn't called since, so I think it was a one time thing!

  2. i am scared!!! how crazy...and a coincidence that you were actually alone. how icky. glad you are ok! and very glad that you had such a fun Moi Weekend à Paris! How do you self-wax? I wouldn't be able to do it!

    1. Now that I think back, I did tell one of the dads that I work for that I was alone for the weekend...OMG, what if it was him? So gross.

      Oh, I use those Veet strips and, no I'm not waxing off like mounds of hair (I could never), just prolonging two week old professional wax by pulling up the new hairs. Okay, that's gross too...

  3. i am scared!!! how crazy...and a coincidence that you were actually alone. how icky. glad you are ok! and very glad that you had such a fun Moi Weekend à Paris! How do you self-wax? I wouldn't be able to do it!

  4. That's crazy, he obviously had nothing to do. This happened to me once when i was alone and the person called and said "he knows i'm alone watching TV"


    I mean i was alone and watching TV, but how the hell does this person know that. I reached for my baseball bat and clinched it into my hand. Every single crack,creek or suspicion noise i held on tighter. (doing all of this while almost breaking my neck to keep the phone by my ear)

    I pretended that i was talking my boyfriend in the background that some weirdo was on the phone.

    The "stalker" hung up and that was the end of that.

    I dislike prank calls, hell, i dislike pranks period-well once it's being played on me.

    Self-Wax- wow you're good. I cant do that. I tried it once and yelled for mi madre. It took me about 4 hours to get that long strip off my leg.

    Screw you commercial about- Easy as "uno, dos, tres"-Easy as "un, deux, trois" my ass!

    Heat in the microwave, paste then pull. They lied to me couquine. They were all giggling and smiling after they self waxed.

    Commercial ladies please explain the absent of my smile or giggle after that little tug???

    Never again. I'll save it for the pro's or Nair or the purchase of an old reliable shaver with the application of some rubbing alcohol on the fresh cut! Spice!

    A bientot!

    1. Ewww why was he speaking in 3rd person, or rather speaking for you "he knows I'm alone watching tv"?? So creepy, but I think it is a good guess that someone would be alone watching tv.

      If he said "he knows I'm at home making Origami seals with patchwork paper while listening to Sebastian Bach" and you actually were doing that, then there's reason for concern.
      : )

      I use the Veet strips to pull up minimal hair and then when it gets bad, I get it done professionally or I cheat and use Nair -- after all these years, that stuff still stinks!

  5. DONT ANSWER THE PHONE...that's what call display is for.

    everytime you did you just played into this creeps hand.

    thank goodness it was what it was and not something "real"...scary.


      I'm glad it wasn't real and learned for the next time! I guess I was just surprised I was even getting a call. My phone NEVER rings and was excited at first...

    2. I would have done the exact same thing picking up the phone - but I'd have taken the phone off the hook after 2 attempts. I would have no patience to pick up seven times!

  6. I just found your blog, and I can't tell you how much I love it! It's always been my dream to live in France, and am obsessed with the language, culture, food- all of it!

    Cheers to you for following your dreams and for building your own life out there, out of the mess that we sometimes face with break-ups and other life challenges.

    Can't wait to read more!


    1. Hi Laura!

      Thank you so much for commenting and reading!

      France is such an enchanting place, I can see why you love it so much! I had this itch as well a few years ago and just said eff it, let's see if I can make it work over there and came. Had I known what was going to happen, there is NO WAY I would have taken such a risk, but ignorance is bliss, right?

      Thank you again! Have a nice weekend!

  7. Geez, the name "The Gathering of the Vibes" alone shoulda told you that one was a no-go!

    I was so annoyed when I called my cellphone provider wanting to block a stranger who had texted me like 16 times in a couple of hours and the call centre guy was all "so what's the problem?" I just EXPLAINED to you that he's harassing me, what do you think? And that was nowhere near as scary as someone ringing to say he knew I was alone!

    And just a note from your friendly neighbourhood librarian, Google Reader is indeed non plus, but as long as people exported their feeds before it died, they don't need to sign up for Bloglovin to keep getting Ella goodness in their new reader.

  8. To avoid any future freaky ass scary situations, the next time Auriel goes out of town, you should hop on the TGV south to The LPV. We can paint our toes, wine taste and have a living room dance party, but only if Fifty is invited - that kid loves to dance. x.

    1. Deal!! only if I can witness the chemistry between the Husband and Mr. London....those two need a sitcom!

  9. Mm, scary stuff. There is NO way I could have stayed there alone after that. Aureil would have had to come home or I'd go to a friend or hotel or something. Probably scaring the public with the remains of my egg whites. I admire your courage.
    Love Denise

    1. Actually, Aurel did by chance come home about an hour later. Him ad his dad had had enough at the festival and were tired. Once he stopped calling, I wasn't scared anymore and called an old friend and chatted until Aurel came home. It was scary for about 10 minutes and once I knew that the caller was full of it, I was fine!

      Yes, the egg whites were flaking off onto the living room floor! Kind of nast...

      Have a nice weekend, Denise!

  10. I spent several of my teenage years being stalked by a window company. Yes, a window company. With double glazing. Who always phoned on the 2 nights a week my parents were out, and who I then had to avoid telling that I was alone - sheesh! Glad he went away in the end anyway o.O

    1. WAIT, WHAT???? A window company??? Did you call the police that a glazer was stalking you? WTF! Only you Katy Cameron, only you! : )