It was, hum, special. I arrived 15 min too early at the door, so I went for a little walk. When I came back five minutes later, it was a long queue already.
The ambassador, his wife, the chief of the army (or someone like that) and the boss from the French institute were standing in a row and took people’s hand. There were five such big tents with food and drinks and people just jumped on them. The picture bellow is not representative because I was among the firsts guests coming in.
The people were very eclectic and I still wonder why me. I talked to several person (I am not good at mingling) and found two nice guys at the end.
The sum of the day is that
- I really needed this expansive dress – thank you, sales!
- the French taxes payers can be calm: everything was sponsored
- even rich people have prejudices.
For the point three, I think I need to explain. The situation is following: I was standing at a table, eating and talking in Swedish with my neighbors. A couple of old (around 70 I guess) and probably -here you read my own prejudices – rich (visible by their accent, their clothes and the jewelry) came and were standing at my right side. I could hear the lady saying in Swedish:
French people are so bad at talking foreign langages!
Maybe I just give more power to this sentence with my poor written English on here. Anyway.
Then, some minutes later, the lady asked me something. I replied in Swedish and added:
But maybe you did not understand what I just said since I was not talking my mother tongue.
She looked at me with big eyes, really big and replied that of course she understood what I just said, It was in Swedish. And I did not need to say anymore, she understood a little while after that I was using kind of black humor against her. The people I was talking with before this episode knew that I am French from the beginning, they were smiling a lot.
But I mean, who is a so short thinker to tell negative things in a place where the concerned people are everywhere and even more, paying for her champagne? This was pretty noobie to me. I think that this thing happens to anyone that has been living a little while abroad:
- you think that no one understand your “secret” language when you are talking bullshit about the natives or
- you think that people, because they are speaking the same language as you, think the same as you about the natives.
The golden rule is: you never can know where a people is from only by the language, so you better keep your prejudices for yourself!
Thank you though, whoever you are, for inviting me! This was a great experience and kind of emotional to sing La Marseillaise.