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Girl in the bubble

I went out to faire la fête with my 2nd year BTS Optics students tonight. First we went to Sylvie's apartment to make crêpes and play with her cat. Sylvie is from Vizille, one of the suburbs of Grenoble, and offered me a ride there when I need one. Her cat is an enormous, long-haired show cat named Riki-Tiki-Tavi. Marion spent all evening pointing out reasons why Riki-Tiki-Tavi is con. After crêpes, most of the class showed up and we went to Les Fous du Roy, a local night club.

It was pretty quiet when we got there, but after a while, they played music from The Full Monty and these three guys got up on the bar and stripped. Three nasty scary guys. We thought they whould stop when they took their shirts off. We thought they would stop when they took their pants off. We thought they would at least stay turned around when they pulled their underwear down. It felt like that song would never end.

Our group started dancing, but I didn't know any of the music and it takes an effort to make me dance in public even if I do know it. Finally Patrick pulled me out onto the floor to dance to the frighteningly Axé Bahia-like song that is all the rage in France at the moment. I stayed out there for a good part of the night, despite the nasty 30-year-old men from the country who had apparently come into town for a little vichyssoise action. They would dance with you whether you wanted to or not, and when our group was dancing in a circle, they would invade it. Then the rather drunk Patrick would stand in front of them and try to back them out of the circle. One of them came up to Marion when we were sitting down and started talking to her and trying to get her to come out and dance with him. I told her I was glad he'd picked her instead of me because I wouldn't have known what to say or how to refuse him - I would have just started yelling "I DON'T SPEAK FRENCH. GO AWAY, SCARY FRENCH MAN." Another member of our group was dancing with one of them, who got too close. She pushed him away and another one arrived. Finally she just yelled that she'd had enough of them and left the floor altogether.

All of this was very offensive to my American personal-space bubble. It may be because my public-dancing experience is limited to high school dances and Albion frat parties, where everyone knew each other, but touching strangers is a no-no in my book. I think, from the other students' reactions, this degree of closeness wasn't completely normal in a French discothèque either, but French men are much more aggressive to start with and the French have smaller space-bubbles than I do.

srah - Wednesday, 23 October 2002 - 9:00 PM
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