About Me

My photo
Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

Search My Blog

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Story Time: Les Types de Transportation Public Français

The title, in French, clearly defines the general haïne and spite that French people tend to feel towards the daily transport to work and vice-versa. Les types, like in English, types of people, or in French also a slang form of dudes, is a generalized way to mention those people.

It was in my morning bus ride this morning that I began doodling on my phone, the definition of the people we tend to see in our public transportation in Paris. Unlike in Portland, where most people are so wonderfully odd and unique, Paris tends to be a conglomerate of sameness. Every morning and every evening, if you live in Paris, you are bound to see the following types.

Seat Ninja:
For lack of a better word, I have entitled this type a seat ninja. Here’s the scenario:
It’s been a long day at work in the office, with your 3 coffee breaks and your 1 hour lunch, and you just want to crawl into your overly packed bus, throw your armpit in someone’s face and get home. As you lurch onto the transport, lugging your overly packed female purse, you eyeball the impossible. A seat. As you start to elbow your way over, you glance to the left and see a flash. In the blink of an eye the seat is suddenly occupied. Your seat has been ninja’d.

The Band of Japanese Tourists:
In any large metropolitan city, you are bound to come across this grouping of individuals. They are often in families, often equipped with a large and expensive Nikon cameras and smiling profoundly at maps trying to define, where is the Eiffel Tower? Where is the Arch de Triomphe? Generally nice and also avid shoppers- spotted most commonly in touristic areas and near the Champs-Élysées.

Psycho Mamie:
Mamie, the loving French term for the French grandmother figure. Unfortunately not all French Mamie's are kind smiling creatures. Some actually have mental problems, especially the psycho Mamies. You'll know when you have been in touch with a Psycho Mamie when she is:

A. Shouting obscenities... At the air around her.
B. Gets oddly aggressive if the bus driver doesn't open the doors right away.
C. Decides that you are the perfect conversation buddy- however the conversation really doesn't go anywhere.

Stinky People:
This category is quite general since stinky is a common problem in France. I have yet to determine if this is due to the lack of dryers (hence drying time is lengthened and clothes carry a lovely old water and musty smell) or the consumption of cheese. However once in awhile you get more than that- you find yourself face to face with a shoeless mental institution escapee who smells beyond the words I could use to describe it. Stench would be too kind...

A term endowed upon those who wander into the metro and either song really off key karaoke of songs from the 80's, highly talented rap artists who son about difficulties, accordion players who 9/10 times are gypsy and of course, simply, people who stand at the end of the metro and proclaim,
"Bonjour, j'ai perdu mon emploi la semaine dernière, j'ai 3 enfants, si vous avez de la monnaie ou tickets restos à partager..."
Such a phenomenon, the French humorist, Kyan Khojandi, made a clip about it... http://canalstreet.canalplus.fr/humour/bref/bref.-j-ai-pris-le-metro.-episode-du-24-01

Strollers and children:
They deserve their own category because I carry a dislike highly profound for these things. You are in the bus, stuck in your corner, door opens. Stroller. You are expected to move so the stroller can park. Of course then you must stretch around, fidget into place, get armpit thrown in your face...
Children can be worse or better depending on the parent. Some children like running frantically back an forth in the transport, some sit spike staring out windows.
Avoidance- avoid the metros and buses between 8:15-8:30 and 4:30-5:00.

Less annoying than strollers, but almost incomprehensible- they speak a French that is so highly slammed with slang sometimes you get English words mixed in- "oh my god"- being the favorite. The worst teenagers tend to be those in couples- remember when hormones are raging, face sucking in public suddenly is no longer embarrassing. It's as though you don't exist.

Now there are multitudes of people who take public transportation, this being a simple "taster" of those people...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...