Paris in the 70’s

I’ve been sitting on this story for awhile because I didn’t have the photo for accompaniment.

I’m sure you’ll be surprised when I reveal, that this photo has been Photoshopped. I wanted a photo that looked like it was taken in France and had me in this swell outfit. Remember Chemin de Fer pants? I had one of every kind.* These were corduroy sailor pants. Aren’t they fabulous? Also, I had to add something for my dear sister to be looking at.

So here’s the story. I don’t know how old I was here, maybe 14? My family went on a trip to Europe and for the first week we did a tour group together and the second week we hung out in Germany with Dad’s family and the third week Mom, Erin and I did another tour group on our own. I’m sure I have a journal of that trip somewhere but I have no idea where it is right this second.

We went to France the first week which included a day or two in Paris. One day, during our midday break we were at a cafe somewhere and I had to use the bathroom. The bathroom was a unisex and you put a coin in and then went in shut the door and you were in your own tiny bathroom.

I put my money in but I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the light. As I tried to figure this out a French guy came along who also wanted to use the john. He said a bunch of French stuff, probably something like, “Hurry up moron, people are waiting.” And when I shook my head and was confused he said, “American?”

I nodded and he quickly took charge of the situation. He also looked around for the light and said, “Complications” only sing-songy with a heavy French accent. That parts makes the story but I can’t spend the rest of the day figuring out how to put a 3 second audio clip on my blog. Use your imagination.

Then he came into the bathroom with me, shut the door, locked it and the light came on. There was a half second there when I thought, “This may not be a good idea.” But right away he unlocked the door and went out and I was all set.

Except now when I did it, the light wouldn’t work because the coin made the light go on and we used up the coin on the test run.

“Complications,” Mr. French Guy said and he dug around and found me another coin.

So I’m in there, doing my thing and I look down and I can see his eyeball looking in the crack under the door.

And being the totally naive moron that I was, I said: “What are you doing? Are you trying to look at me?” Because honestly, who gets on the floor of a public restroom and peeks through a tiny crack to try to watch someone pee?

Apparently creepy French guy. He was gone when I left and that is the Paris bathroom story.

*Upon re-reading this, I realize this might be confusing. I didn’t have every possible color and style of pants but I had the ones that buttoned instead of a zipper — I think we called them tuxedo pants, and I had some that laced instead of zippered. That’s all I can remember so really, saying I had every kind was pretty lame statement.

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