Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Je Vous Laisse Tranquille

Yesterday, before going to the school to pick up the girls, Lucy and I took a walk down Avenue des Gobelins and into the 5th arrondissement. We window shopped (Ok, I did. She just kind of peed on stuff.) While we were out, I decided to stop in the bakery and butcher shop to grab some things we needed.

I went to the bakery on the corner, facing the street market that takes place every day on Mouffetard. It is an organic bakery, and serves wonderful bread, pizzas and pastries. They also have a "Dog Park" outside--a little hook you can attach a leash to while you run in for your daily bread.

I was busy attaching Lucy to the hook (doing so carefully, because I didn't want her to run off) when a man approached me. From the look of his clothes (quite dirty) and his teeth (few), he didn't have a place to go. He called to me,

"Mademoiselle? Mademoiselle? Madame? Mademoiselle? Madame?"

I ignored him for a bit, but when he persisted, I looked at him.


"Oh, I, um, just need some information."

"Where do you want to go?"


"You're here. This is Paris."

"I know. It's just... you have pretty eyes."

"Thank you."

"No, it's true. You do. Very pretty eyes."

"Thank you."

He looked confused.

"I will leave you alone, because you have pretty eyes." (Sparing me from asking for small change.)

"Thank you."

"Why do you keep saying 'Thank you'? You don't have to say 'Thank you'!"

"I'm American. We always say 'Thank you.'"

He seemed surprised at this, but made good on his promise to leave me alone. The French phrase for this is quite different than the English--instead of literally leaving us alone, it is leaving us tranquil, calm, or unbothered. Je vous laisse tranquille.

I went into the shop, ordered my "Pain aux Céréales Tranché" (Multigrain bread, sliced), and ran back to check on Lucy. I was a little worried that she might find him threatening and snap at him.

She was calmly sitting just where I left her, and he was nowhere in sight.

PS--Lucy loved the butcher shop. She wanted the lamb, but I got pork chops.



At 3:36 PM, January 18, 2006, Blogger Chelee said...


Glad you have pretty eyes.

Thanks for the new phrase.


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