My new colleagues/copains invited me out last night, which was really fun/frustrating; lame/awesome. Let me explain
They and their significant others are so sweet and kind—quality people. So it was fun to be out with nice locals. But frustrating because even through their pronunciation was slow and emphatic enough that I should have been able to follow, and even though they would ask simple questions and try to ensure that I was included, there was so much that I just didn’t understand. And the most frustrating thing was when I’d try to string together the simplest sentence and couldn’t even do that. Seriously, eighth grade French. Argh.
The lame/awesome part was that we met in the Latin Quarter, which I thought was an odd choice. It’s like going out for dinner in Ghiradelli Square or Times Square: complete tourist destination with crummy restaurants. Indeed our restaurant was horrible. But the reason they chose it was because we were going to a jazz club across the street.
After dinner (a plate of fried raclette cheese with a side of potatoes), we went over to Caveau de la Huchette: amazing. There’s a bar at the street level, but the action is underground. The greatest swing band was playing, dancers—really good dancers—were going crazy on the dance floor, and the rest of the place was packed with all of us watching and tapping our feet. It seriously could have been 1950, the place is so timeless. It’s just this cramped, sloping basement – sort of Edgar Allen Poe, sort of Beat, but we were there, April 11, 2009.