Life's our oyster and we're gonna suck that bitch down with a champagne chaser.

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  • BS Psychobiology/ French, UCLA

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Thursday, October 12, 2006  
The Parisian Chronicles: Part VII - The F Place
Ok these chronicles are getting a little ridiculous. It's October and I'm barely on Part VII. I think I'm going to have to cut some events out of the chronicles so we can wrap this damn chronicle affair up. Maybe they'll be easter eggs on the DVD or something.

A principle aspect of living in Paris consisted of running around in the city sweating and stuffing our faces with various meats, cheeses, breads, pastries and ice cream...

However, I lost 15 pounds (or 87 kilos... I don't know the conversion) in Paris so I'm not sure how efficient I was at said gorging. Amidst this strenuous activity, along with the studying that I think we were supposed to be doing, there were a few select nights where the gals could doll themselves up and the guys could look at them while wearing buttoned down shirts. Once such night was at l'Opera, as you may remember, and another such night was our excursion to a supposed famed fondu restaurant, "Au Refuge des Fondus." It would be a glorious, enjoyable night, we thought, at a classy restaurant to have fondu and wine.

The first tip-off that this establishment wasn't the high-brow eatery that we, or I, thought it would be was it's main claim to fame which wasn't the melted cheese in a pot, but the wine. Not because it's particularly good, but because it's served in an unconventional receptacle. Namely, in baby bottles. Charming. We could all feign having fetal alcohol syndrome while having a strange non-dinner dinner. In any case, my friends left a note under my door to make reservations because I was the best French speaker of the lot (thanks guys). In making my reservation, I should have sensed the next tip-off that this place was relatively seedy. The conversation went roughly as follows, translated for your reading pleasure:

"Uh, hi. Is this the famous fondu restaurant?"
"Uh yeah sure."
"Ok good. I wanted to make reservations for dinner tonight at 8:30 please?"
"Ok for how many?"
"6 or 7? I'm not sure about one person."
"Ok fine. Under what name?"
"Yeah, P-A-S-H-A."
"AAAHHH Pashaaaaaaaaaaa!!!"
"Very good! Pasha is bringing 6 people for dinner tonight!"
"Or 7."
"Pasha is bringing a group of people for dinner tonight!"
"Yes, that's true."
"Haaa haaa haaaa. Pashaaaaa!"
"Ok, thanks a lot. We'll be there tonight."
"Ok. Very good."

I stared at the phone for about 10 minutes to try to decipher what in Dante's Inferno just happened. I eventually put it down and went to my compadres room to deliver the news of my apparent successful reservation.

That night, I had obtained Metro stop we needed to take, and we were off. At 8:45 pm, we were lost in some dark part of Paris that probably wasn't meant for spoiled American students. We eventually found the dark hole that was the restaurant hidden in the middle of the street and upon entering the place, an old Frenchman yelled, "PASHA IS HERE WITH HIS PEOPLE!!!" As I later figured out, the owner of the place who took my reservation thought for some reason that I was a genuine Parisian who was taking some Americans around Paris. I don't know why he thought that, but he did. I actually reinforced the idea throughout the night, but that's not the point.

You see, when I say "hole," I actually mean it. If you're going to sit against the wall, you need to jump onto the table and scoot yourself in cause there's no room otherwise. Girls in skirts have a particularly thrilling time accomplishing this. Upon sitting down, the waiter/owner/CEO looked to me and asked, "Red or White?" and "Cheese?" Each of us chose our preferred variety of wine and all agreed on cheese... that was evidently why we were there. The first round of baby bottles came and were excited. It was novelty cuisine without the Planet Hollywood.

After the first round of baby bottles, we were slightly buzzed. Each bottle must've contained at least 3 full glasses of (bad) wine. But we sucked em down... one by one.

After 3 or so baby bottles, the fondu started to look extremely unappealing. It didn't look all that great to begin with, but coupled with cheap wine, forget about it. As the night progressed, or digressed, we got louder and louder and began spilling various liquids. The waiter kept asking me why my American friends were such light-weights. I didn't know at that point that they thought that I wasn't a light-weight American as well so I just laughed and shrugged. By the time the check came, everyone except for myself and one of the girls was too inebriated to think so I just paid for the whole dinner, awaiting a reimbursement the next day, and left a huge tip. I'm not sure why. I think it's cause we trashed the place.

By the time we stumbled out of the place, we either looked or felt like my comrades above. Getting back to the metro station, was an ordeal on its own because a couple of our companions weren't accustomed to having so much wine in their system. There were false proclamations of love, stumbling in the streets, yelling at random ogling Parisians and walking in zig-zags. At one point, I'm pretty sure there was public urination and some excessive hugging and groping than we had planned. I'll leave the most scandalous portions of the conversations had and actions taken to preserve the dignity of the parties involved, as well as to maintain this blog as a family one (does anyone even read this anymore?).

Since myself and one other person were made the designated guardians of the lot, we escorted our faded friends back to the Shitadines and eventually to their rooms. The other people in the program liked to hang out in the lobby though, so we had a welcoming party of sorts to witness our depravity. Eventually though, we all made it to our rooms. Some regurgitated the offending baby bottle contents shortly there after, other embarassed themselves a bit more by knocking on people's doors and having conversations that they probably wouldn't normally have sober. It eventually calmed down. It was also a school night so we all had to get up to lug ourselves over to the Catholic School the next morning as well. Perhaps fondu wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

Whenever we speak of that night, we refer to it as baby bottle night at the F place. We never speak the word fondu because each of us literally gag when we hear it. Needless to say, we seldom speak of that night. I think each of us did things that we either regret or don't remember. Maybe in a few years I'll take another tour group there and leave them just for kicks. I am a native Parisian, after all.

Coming Up in Part VIII: 21st Birthday in the French Countryside... just how I'd planned it.

2:48 AM


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