Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So three butchers walk into a bar...

Picture this:

I'm walking up the street to go to a Meetup meeting for expats in Paris because I figure I should put at least a modicum of effort into meeting people.

But on the way, magic intervened.

My butcher friend was in a bar. You know, the one I've written about more than the whole of Paris. My seul semi-ami dans Paris. He saw me walk by, he ran out and and invited me in for drinks.

Needless to say, I never made it to the Meetup group.

Instead, I sat with the butcher and his butcher friends butchering the French language. And they sat butchering the English language. At times, we even resorted to drawing pictures:

This is how they convinced me to stay with them who are my "Happy friends no strangers" rather than going off to meet strangers.
Then we discussed where we're from:
This is a map of France.
Adrien is from Le Mans, outside of Paris. He is VERY proud of Le Mans.
This is a map of Poland.
Krzysztof, formerly known as Christophe, is from Poland, which explains why we have such difficulty conversing. French is his second language, too. 

This is a map of Canada.
Adrien added the Olympics.
So for all those who have privately messaged me about the butcher and how I should just ask him out already, fate took care of all that and now I'm part of his group of friends who get drinks after work.


What I learned about them was fascinating. These guys are straight out of before the Internet. They don't go online. (Thank Christ.) They don't even have email addresses. They said, "Pourquoi? We work, drink, sleep." And they do. They all live within 5 minutes of la boucherie. They get up in the morning and work all day. They have a beer together after work. They go home. That's it. That's their life.

They don't talk about the latest App or the new iPad. These aren't part of their world at all. But they can hack up a cow like it's no big deal and they can roast 100 chickens a day without breaking a sweat.

We also talked about dreams.

One of them wants to have his own butcher shop one day. The other. "I don't have dream. I only dream of change."

These people don't spend their time reading Wayne Dyer or Marianne Williams. There is no Michael Bernard Beckwith or Abraham Hicks in their libraries. "Pourquoi? We work, drink, sleep."

When I tell them I write books, they sit stunned. You what?!

Oui. C'est vrai. 

Then Adrien tells me I'm famous and informs me that his great grandfather invented the can opener. It was hard to describe. He said "Metal box. Open." I said, "Key?" He said, "Food. Metal box. Open." I said, "What?" Then he did the hand gesture of opening a can of food. "Ahhh, can opener." Voila!

Mes amis... voila! 


  1. I love it.........your journey is better than a movie! Keep writing!


  2. You're so pretty Jan!

  3. YAY!
    the Frenchmen (ok, I guess now we know Kzysztof is not French, but I'm going to count him anyway) were out in a tour de force last night - you missed a French anthropologist trying to pick up my mom at the infamous bar! apparently we were so beautiful he couldn't speak...

  4. What a delightful blog.Im sure you smiled alot which is the universal language and yes I have to agree with Carla you are so pretty

  5. viva la viande!!!!! Bravo!!! faites les beaux rêves ce soir!!!

  6. Did you tell the butchers you don't eat meat? :)

  7. yes - very pretty picture, and giggling out loud because you don't eat meat

  8. La Vegan dans le charcuterie? C'est "la participation!"


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