Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Couples, Cuisine, Kurds...and France In Your Pants

"The thing about Paris is that if you’re gonna couple-up, you’re probably gonna be a couple mixte. That’s mixte as in dual-national, where one person is from one country and the other is from another. At minimum. Most of the time it goes like this: French-English, French-Canadian, French-American, French-Irish, French-Swedish, French-Finnish, French-Turkish, French-Tunisian, French-Brazilian, French-Korean, French-Russian, French-Portugese, French-Senegalese . . . and then there are those couples where neither person is from France at all. One couple I know is English-Japanese: To communicate, they speak French. To argue, it’s every man and/or woman for his and/or herself. (They yell at each other in their own respective languages.) I can’t think of one couple I know that isn’t mixte . . . Well, there was that French-French couple from back in the day . . . but it didn’t really work out.

". . . Being in Paris, in a couple mixte, basically boils down to food. As in: he cooks cuisine from his country (probably not boiled) and you cook cuisine from yours. (Note: Don’t even bother trying to explain the concept behind maple syrup to the French.) Every now and then you get stuck going to one of those long-ass French lunches – chez les in-laws, usually on Sunday, where they all yell at each other, all at the same time, for hours on end, and because Sunday afternoon comes after Saturday night, you’re horribly hungover as hell – but otherwise, as a couple mixte, you’re pretty much in the clear. Even when clearly hungover . . . "