Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round


Sex And The City quote:

"Don't worry, sweetie, don't worry! Nobody in New York notices a bus until it's about to hit them! [Samantha]

In NYC you may get hit by buses, but in Paris you and your kids get yelled at on them!

Today, I took the kids to the Park Monceau on the bus. Big Fry loves it because he's big enough for his own seat at the window and I like it because I get to people watch. Today was also the day that Small Fry decided to melt down on La Mom while on the bus.

Small Fry didn't want to sit in her stroller and threw a fit - crying, yelling, screaming, wailing, "Up Mommy, Up Up!" was all she repeated for the 15 minute ride to the park. I started sweating like a little piggy from embarrassment and Big Fry growled at her like a lion thinking he might scare her into quieting down. Of course this only made her cry harder.

So what's a mom to do?

I kept my eyes averted from the other passengers (read: glued to the floor) while simultaneously telling Small Fry she could have any sugary snack she wanted once we got to the park if she could just be quiet. It was then that a voice yelled out from the back of the bus, "Putain, calmez votre enfant! C'est insupportable!" or, "Calm your f***ing kid down! It's unbearable!"

Question: How do you get 20 Parisians on a bus to smile at you?

Answer: You don't. Parisians don't smile. But, SURPRISE... they smiled at me today!

I was getting ready to rip the old man who yelled at me a new one when I realized that everyone was looking at me with sympathetic smiles and not annoyance. One woman even whispered to me that everything would be all right. You couldn't wipe that smile off her face for all the cheese in France!

(Sidebar: OK, since when are Parisians, much less Parisians on a bus, nice? It just doesn't happen).

The old man must have been pretty annoyed because a few minutes later he got up from his seat. Part of me breathed a sigh of relief thinking he would be getting off at the next stop, but another part of me was scared that he would come yell at me again.

He came over to Small Fry, bent down and ......started singing to her!

It was the sweetest thing. This man went from grumpy to adorable in zero to ten! Somehow his singing had the desired effect because Small Fry calmed down and was an angel for the rest of the bus ride to the park!

The passengers and I just stared at each other and the old man in amazement.

Vive la France: Liberté, Egalité, Séniorité!


3 comments:

Sherry said...

Wow, great story. That truly is amazing!

Sree said...

People in Paris dont smile?Really?Thats news to me.

Nice blog you got here. :)

La Mom said...

When I first arrived in Paris it took me a few days to realize how little the Parisians smiled. I was the naive American smiling at everyone on the bus and metro and wondering why nobody returned the smile.
You can argue that lots of Parisians have ugly teeth from all the smoking they do, but they don't smile because it's just not in their nature...not because they are hiding nasty teeth!

 

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