Kimberley and I met back at the hotel and headed out for
dinner at a small Chinese restaurant where I'd gotten
some takeout the first night I was in town. The restaurant
was small and friendly and the food, which one ordered by
pointing at things behind a counter, was good. Afterwards,
we decided to go sit at a sidewalk café (above) and
sip drinks and watch the world go by.
The waiter (you can see him in the picture, with his hand
pressed melodramatically to his forehead) wore the Central
Casting Parisian Waiter outfit and was delightfully, refreshingly
rude, refusing to speak French to us when he heard our North
American accents. (A trip to Paris wouldn't have been
complete without encountering a rude French waiter.) I
drank slightly chilled Beaujolais and Kimberley drank Perrier
and we soaked up atmosphere and talked about our families.
I could get used to sitting around at a sidewalk café
in Paris drinking wine.
This was the scene of the second of my two Weird Parisian
Bathroom Experiences. I went inside the café to
find the facility, and spotted a single translucent glass door
labeled "W.C." So I went inside and locked the door behind
me and saw . . . not a toilet, but a
white porcelain arrangement, flush (no pun intended) with
the floor, with places to put one's feet at the front.
I guessed (rightly, I hope) that one places one's feet,
drops trou, and squats, and heaven help those who don't have
strong quadriceps when they need to stand up again. When
I flushed, water splashed outside the white porcelain and
out onto the floor. Once again, high strangeness, at least
to my North American sensibility.