Friday, August 28, 2015

Do I Look French from There?

My regular homeopathic pharmacy has been out of garlic tablets for at least two weeks. Garlic's good for my blood, so I passed by there this morning and peered through their glass front door with a hopeful expression. The clerk inside knew what I was looking for and gave me a thumbs down. Still no garlic.

On my way back home, I stopped in at another pharmacy. This one, I rarely use. An older woman with full fringe bangs and shoulder-length hair helped me. She "sold" me the garlic tablets, but then I had to go to the other counter to pay. A man took my money there.

He was 50-ish with salt and pepper hair and Buddy Holly glasses. A nice-looking guy in a nerdy way.

In the background, a female singer was crooning, "The More I See You." He hummed along, singing a word here and there.

"Buena musica," I commented to him. He held up a CD cover and started talking about how much he loved jazz and blues.

I mentioned a video that I had seen last week. The nine-year old Norwegian, Angelina Jordan, sounds like Amy Winehouse reincarnated.

"I love Amy." He showed me his playlist of oldies, telling me in Spanglish that he also loved Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Tom Jones. My kind of music. Our music conversation was going swimmingly when, out of the blue, he asked me, "Are you Canadian?"

I shook my head. The older lady joined us, and I asked in Spanish, "Do you like to dance?"


I leaned slightly over the counter, trying to peek at his ring finger, but his hands were out of sight. "Are you single?" I asked him.

The older lady moved closer to him and said, "He's my husband."

"¡O, perdón! Vale la pena preguntar, ¿no?" Oops, sorry. It never hurts to ask. Luckily, she had a good sense of humor and found it funny instead of threatening.

He carried on, unfazed, and then must have decided that I was French because he began speaking to me in French.

Many people here have mistaken me for French or German, even Russian. Let's see. I know precisely...oh French. Well, that's not strictly true. I could throw around some "Bon jour" and "Merci" in a terrible accent. Beyond that, I would have to be mute.

I must have a "European face," but that's where it ends. I'm not skinny enough to look French below my collarbones.

~~Sally Rose
Author of Penny Possible & A Million Sticky Kisses

1 comment:

  1. I have been traveling most of my life and have spent over 15 years as an expat in Europe and Asia. Simple moments to me are generally most memorable. My favorite moment came when I was in store in a small town outside of Cologne and the clerk asked me if I was Dutch from my accent in speaking German. I felt like I finally fit into the European culture. Great post that I can relate with daily.