Saturday, June 4, 2011


193. Saturday morning. Waking up. You slowly gain awareness of the world around you and of you yourself. The good thing is that you recognize the room you are in -- always a good start. The bad thing is that your head feels a little heavy, and you are hungry. These two feelings are not meant for each other, because then you want to sleep in a little more, and, at the same time, to get up to eat. Finally, food wins. Food invariably does. Carefully, you step out of bed, and, for once, you immediately get changed into something half-decent. A black pair of (short) shorts and a red top. The sort of clothes in which you could even leave the house. And, for once, you immediately comb your hair (still long at this stage). Looking at the mirror, you congratulate yourself for successfully hiding your hangover. Your flatmates will not know.

After all of that, at the sight of you casually walking into the living room, your flatmate -- himself lying on the couch watching cartoon on TV like a six-year-old boy -- starts laughing, without even so much as a "hello" or "good morning", even if he hasn't seen you at all since the day before yesterday. Or... has he?

194. Olivier Dachkin. On a comfy barber chair and in a ridiculously oversize barber coat. Waiting for the coiffeuse to start chopping off your long hair, you are flipping through a copy of Paris MATCH, a French weekly magazine. This issue's front cover features the most famous married couple of the year sitting in the royal carriage and waving hands in tandem, so, obviously, there are numerous pages devoted to the minutest details of the wedding. Pipa vole la vedette! La robe! Les baisers! Just as you are trying to figure out what is written about the bouquet (something something appelés "Sweet William"), your coiffeuse tells you, "Debout!" You are confused, because you think you know what debout means, and you think you hear correctly what she says, but putting the two together does not make sense. Seeing your hesitance, the coiffeuse motions you to stand up, and so you do, after reluctantly putting the Paris MATCH down.

She just wants to readjust your barber coat, you think to yourself. So you stand where you are. But, seemingly not interested in your barber coat in the slightest, she says something and -- seeing that you are completely lost -- impatiently taps on your shoulder, signaling you to move. As soon as you do, she pushes the chair forward and then directs you to where the chair was. As you switch places with the chair and now stand next to your coiffeuse, two realizations come to your mind: the first, slightly pleasant, is that you finally find someone in Brussels who is shorter than you, the second, slightly unpleasant, is that your coiffeuse now begins to work her scissors through your hair. Confused, your post-tequila brain halfheartedly attempts to formulate a French sentence, something along the line of, Why on earth do I have to stand, but you cannot work out how to say "Why on earth", and "Why" just does not seem sufficient, so you give up, and let she do what she wants. 

As your mind wanders in La La Land, suddenly, her thumb pokes your chin. "Pardon!" she hastily apologizes, then, remembering your complete lack of French, she tries, "Sorry!" "It's okay," you tell her. "No speak French?" "No, sorry." This news seems to disturb her, because the very next second she cuts herself. "Merde!" Without offering the English translation, she examines the bleeding finger, in a surprisingly calm and rather curious manner, as if she was wondering whether she could simply ignore the cut and get on with it. Watching her, you frantically try to say, in French, that you are very sorry for her bleeding finger but could she please not touch your hair with it, before she has the chance to actually do it. Unfortunately, if pre-tequila your French speaking is already at the speed of a snail, post-tequila it is at the speed of a snail who takes a nap after every second step. By the time you say, "Je suis d-", she is already walking off, leaving you alone, still in the ridiculously oversize barber coat, standing behind the barber chair, mouth open in mid-sentence and generally looking rather stupid. 

Another coiffeuse comes along. You ask if you could sit down, and, as if the whole standing episode never happened, she says yes, why could you not. Once you sit down, the new coiffeuse continues cutting off the other half of your hair. You wonder whether you should ask this girl why on earth you had to stand, but you still do not know the French translation of "Why on earth", so you pick up the magazine and go back to reading about the bouquet instead. You want to know what they wrote about "Sweet William."

195. "I like them blooooob," Catherine says, hands stretching imaginary bread dough to make a baguette, in a completely non-food-related conversation. Laughing at Catherine's description, Zoe comments, "Living with her is like a week's worth of blog posts." As I try to figure out in my head what I prefer, baguettes or bagels, I realize that I have never really thought about the question before. This is only one of tonight's numerous entertaining topics, most of which I rarely encounter at home, as both of my flatmates are boys. There is a lot to be said about being in a girls-only company. Some of the pluses, apart from stumbling upon the soul-searching question baguettes-or-bagels, include being fed yummy pasta alla carbonara and, some four hours later, being walked to the bike station under the "It does not smell like it is going to rain" rain. A minus, however, is that the name Luigi no longer simply refers to either a Super Mario character or our slender Danish colleague.


  1. - In french there is a space before an exclamation mark (the same with "?" and ":").
    - Why on earth = pourquoi diable.
    Ex : "Mais pourquoi diable, y a-t-il en français, une espace avant un point d'exclamation ?"
    - I still don't know if you like your cut.

  2. 1. Merci !
    2. That's probably better than what I wanted to use, "Pourquoi sur la terre..."
    3. Comme d'habitude, je passe une demi-année en souhaitant que j'ai les cheveux courts, et puis, je passe l'autre moitié, c'est-à-dire quand j'ai enfin avoir les cheveux courts, je veux avoir les cheveux longs.