everyday banality international intrigue edition

I was in a cafe, shortly before noon, two days before I departed Chiang Mai, where I ordered something with chicken and was told “Sorry, we don’t have chicken yet.”

These things will happen.

So I modified my order accordingly and was left alone. Nearby, two middle-aged women that seemed familiar, though I couldn’t place where I had seen them. A moment after the waitress departed one looked at me and spoke.

I said I’m sorry, but I don’t speak French.

Her response was an uncertain expression. That’s when I realized that I knew them, by sight, from the Alliance Francaise, where we had attended a few of the same Resnais screenings. So I went on, informing her that yes, there were people who went to those things that really needed the subtitles.

She said “oh”, then continued, in heavily-accented English, to say that it was terrible, wasn’t it, the way “these people” run out of things, or fail to bring things in, so you cannot order what you want. Her lipstick was bright and thick in the middle of a face that was otherwise free of makeup and on the verge of heavily lined. The other woman reached across the table to place a hand atop hers.

I told her I was used to it, that it didn’t really bother me.

“How long have you been here?”

“Three months. I’ll be going home soon.”

“Three months? I have been here two, and it’s still infuriating.” The other woman nodded.

“A shame.”

“They are like women, these people, they can never plan ahead for anything.” She laughed.

“Like every woman ever,” I said. There was a pause, and I went back to my book without much hesitation.

“The American is through with us already. Have we offended him?”

I looked at them again. “I guess. I only have room in my heart for one misogynistic lesbian, and she’s dead.

Which was straining, but as it occurred to me I thought: this might be the only chance I have to say this. So I did, and received a puzzled look for my trouble.


~ by ironcupshrug on 01/19/2010.

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