Tag Archives: Paris metro

Mr. Sexy Suit

Right.  Time for some positivity about man-shopping in Paris!  The last time that I wrote something nice about parisian men was probably my post on their derrieres.

This time…

… Let’s talk about suits, baby!

The average american suit is boxy, ill-fitting, and generally drab through and through.

But in Paris?  Hell to the no.

Ladies, if you’re like me, and one of your time-consuming hobbies is admiring a snappy suit on a man, I advise you to take the metro line 1 out to La Défense on weekday mornings.

I used to work out there a few years ago, and I swear to you, the ONLY thing that made rush hour commute bearable was the fact that you could get up close and personal with some of the most impeccable suiting on the planet.

They’re not all sporting Zegna, but they don’t need to.  The suits are well-tailored, are cut to show off all my favorite man-parts, and, in short, are glorious to behold.

Defined man-shoulders.

V-shaped man-torsos.

And, of course, a nicely framed man-butt.

These are not to be confused with boy-shoulders, boy-torsos, and boy-butts.  I have absolutely no love for the skinny-ass coat-hanger sculpture with no meat or muscle on him.  No lady wants something to poke her eye out whilst cuddling.

That being said, the skinny TIE, on the other hand…

I am a fan.

In my humble opinion, a man needs a perfectly-tailored jacket to pull off the skinny tie, and I am happy to report that there is a pleasant proliferation of nicely pulled-off skinny ties on the line 1.

The take-home message here is this:

I like the parisian suit.

However, that does NOT mean that I have to like the parisian IN the suit.

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Mssrs. Mini Casanova

By now, you long-time readers have a pretty good idea about the kind of ass-clownery that seems to pass for the pick-up scene in Paris.  If you’re a new reader, you can check out Mssrs. Gym CasanovaMssrs. Greatest Hits, Mssrs. Driving Casanova, and Mssrs. Metro Casanova for some highlights.

I know that I usually don’t have many positive things to say on this blog, so every once in a while I like to change things up a bit by blogging about the good things that happen to me.

I don’t want you all to think that this city is totally hopeless.  I’ve had a number of very pleasant conversations with random young men in the streets of Paris.

Unfortunately, all these young men have been under the age of 8.

Don’t ask me why, but small children seem to take a shining to me here.

And unlike their adult male counterparts, they know how to treat a lady.

Mr. Mini Casanova #1

This young man of about six or seven years tore away from his mother and plopped down next to me on the metro.  He was very polite, began with “Excusez-moi, madame, and then asked me very earnestly whether I’d ever seen Le Petit Dinosaure et la Vallée des merveilles (The Land Before Time).

We proceeded to chat about the movie franchise and about the overall rad-ness of dinosaurs until his mother was able to push through the crowds on the train and reclaim him.  But before he left, he took my hand and asked me if I could come over to have dinner and watch a dinosaur movie with him.

Cute-tacular.

Mr. Mini Casanova #2

When I entered the train car, I came face to face with a bawling toddler in a pram.  He turned to me, and, strangely enough, he abruptly stopped crying.  He blinked his big blue — slightly bloodshot — blinkers at me, and said, “Je m’appelle Jean.”

Then he turned to his father and said, “Papa, elle est belle!”

When he turned back to me, he asked me to be his mom.

He was, at most, three years old, but that was probably the closest that I will ever get to having a parisian melt my heart.

And with such beautiful blue eyes and such an irresistible mop of blond curls that I almost considered taking him up on his offer.

Almost.  His poor father was not really on board with this idea.  And neither was his mother.

It was pretty awkward.

Mr. Mini Casanova #3

This little guy just ran up to me at the bank, hugged my legs and told me that he loved me.

He was probably around four or five years old.

And you thought that grand gestures of love only happened in Hollywood movies?  Apparently not!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Granted, if adult males had approached me like these little guys did, they would not have been as endearing.

But still, even if they only came up to my knees, the fact that they were so appreciative of my general awesomeness… I’ll chalk that up as a win.

Hey, my man-shopping operation has been less than successful here, so I’ll take what I can get.

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Mr. Normal

Bueller?…  Bueller?… Bueller?

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Ms. Mad Scientist

We all know about the moral implications of conducting experiments on humans.  This is what prevents us social scientists from adequately controlling our variables.  However, every once in a while, due to some freak accident of circumstances and nature, we are presented with a situation that so closely imitates laboratory conditions that we have the opportunity to conduct some real groundbreaking experiments.  No, I’m not talking about my non-blog work (that would be too good to be true, and I would be accepting my Medal of Science by now).  I am talking about my man-shopping.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It was a crisp fall day in Paris.  I was on the metro line 1, on my way to a meeting.  Purely by coincidence, I had sat myself down next to a fellow yellow, so to speak.  And as I was settling into my seat, I couldn’t help but notice how closely we resembled each other on the physical front — and not just because we were both Asian.

We were similar in height, build, and facial bone structure.  We had the same haircut.  We even had similar outfits, except that I was wearing grey and bright green, and her outfit was in all different shades of the same puke-y brown.

Other than the color scheme of our clothing, our physical differences were limited to the following:

  • She had alabaster-pale skin, whereas I was rocking my perpetually tan complexion.
  • She had more slitted, almond-shaped eyes, whereas mine are rounder and with a double-lid.
  • Her boots had a half-inch heel, whereas mine had a three-inch heel.
  • She was hunched over in her seat, staring intently at her nails, whereas my posture was erect, shoulders back.

I thought to myself, “She’s the ultimate stunt double!  She could be my man-shopping double!”

Here’s where it got interesting…

A cute guy got on at the next stop and was clearly taken aback by the wave of Asian awesome that we launched his way.

It was at this point that I thought to myself, “Wow, this is a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity.  Physically speaking, most variables have been controlled for.  Now all I have to do is wait until Mr. Cutie chooses his target, and then I can determine what he considers to be physically desirable.”

I saw him vacillate between the two of us.  He was momentarily torn, and I saw his mind-gears turning as I blink-blinked my eyes at him.  I glanced over at my double, and I saw that she, too, was doing the blink-blink, albeit from a more hunched-over vantage point.

 

He walked over to us…

… and knelt down next to…

… my double.

Of course he did.

So as Mr. Cutie began to whisper sweet nothings to my counterpart, whose French, by the way, was atrocious, I had no choice but to conclude that the man preferred the more diluted, paler (literally and figuratively) version of myself.  I must also conclude that he preferred someone in ridiculously ugly shoes.

All these years, my grandmother has been begging me to comport myself in a meeker, less obtrusive way and to do something to lighten my dark skin.  I am so irritated that she may have been onto something.

Oh, don’t worry, this little impromptu experiment will in no way change my fashion sense or my posture.  But it does make me just a tad more cynical…

Next, please!

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Mr. Metro Accoster

In light of my recent desperate hunt for an apartment in Paris, I thought that it would be appropriate to share the following story, which occurred shortly after I moved into my last apartment.  At the end, you’ll see why this story is so fitting, trust me.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It was an early Saturday morning, and I was about to get on the metro to see off a friend before she left the country.  I’ll sketch out the scene for you in bullet point form:

  • This felt like the butt-crack of dawn, and I am NOT a morning person.  Anyone who has ever met me knows that I try to minimize human interaction before noon.
  • I was not dressed to prowl: fat-day/PMS jeans, Converse sneakers, nondescript t-shirt.
  • I was on the phone with my sister in California; with the nine hour time difference, this was the only time that we could talk.
  • In other words, I was in no mood and in no position to be conversing with strangers on the metro.  And I’d like to think that this was clear to bystanders at the time.

So of course, this meant that an older, fifty-ish man decided to get all up in my business and attempt to chat me up while I was in the middle of a phone conversation.

And he persisted.  He had no respect for the fact that I was otherwise engaged in conversation; he continuously interjected and pestered me for my contact info until I was so irritated that I just gave him my email in order to stop the insanity.

Yes, it was my real email address.

I know.

I’m an idiot.

But in my defense, I was flustered, and my brain doesn’t function normally in the morning.

And anyway, if I hadn’t given him my email address, I never would have received this gem of an email, which I reproduce here in its entirety, word for word (except for removing his personal information):

Hello “there” ( here I must interject in order to apologise- in default of your forename),

Now that’s a fairly long introduction. My name’s —-. English speaking people usually end up calling me —-.

I’m not at all in the habit of accosting young maidens in the metro, or any other ilk either. However I did overhear fragments of your conversation with your sister (?) I believe. Not an eavesdropper by nature, however I couldn’t help picking up a detail you repeatedly mentionned- that of clarity in speech ( because even the wriiten word is referred to as speech I believe). You ennounce and pronounce so beautifully that I was very rapidly under an rather binding spell. I think that clarity of speech denotes clarity of thought.

This in itself is a golden quality, and is becoming a rarity nowadays.

It was almost ironic that I happened to be heading to a writers’ workshop last Saturday when my ears “alighted” upon your speech ; when I heard you speak. So California is your home? Welcome to Paris.

You see, if one is not part of an English-speaking community in Paris, one loses touch with the language. Hence it would be a pleasure to get together over a cup of cofee, glass of wine, jug of beer, slurp of Champagne, or countless other pretences to have a good old chin wag if you feel so inclnined. No strings attached. It’s just nice to meet a lively soul- something I rapidly gathered that you were.

Here are my “credentials” :

– name –

– mailing address –

– land line number –

– mobile number –

Hoping to hear from you soon.

I think that the email speaks for itself, so I will offer no additional commentary.   At the time, I was speechless.  I laughed so hard that I nearly injured myself.

And I continued laughing until I showed the email to my flatmate.

When she read it through, she recognized the name at the bottom of the message and gave me a piece of information that surely took off a few years of my life:

Mr. Metro Accoster was, in fact, OUR LANDLORD.

And that had my flatmate laughing for DAYS.

Meanwhile, I was left scratching my head and wondering how this stuff happens to me.

And now, thankfully, I am moving.

And this “young maiden” will be saving her “rather binding spell” for a more appropriate target.  A handsome target, hopefully.  And not someone to whom I pay rent.

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Ms. Brazen Hussy

I suppose we all have those moments when hormones go a little wonky and we act impulsively and out of character.  I had one of those moments the other day, when I turned into quite the brazen hussy on the metro.

I was seated on the Line 4 when I saw a VERY handsome older gentleman step on the train at Barbès-Rochechouart.  No joke.  Gorgeous.  Like Robert-Redford-resplendent.

Our eyes locked for a second, and my only coherent thought at the time was, “Hubba hubba.”  (I’ve quite the poetic mind, I know.)

This impeccably-dressed man-a-licious specimen then came over and, instead of striking up a conversation as a normal human being would do, he strategically repositioned himself so that he could stand over me and stare directly down my shirt as I remained seated.

I’m not sure what came over me, but this was when I looked up at him and said, “So do you like what you see?”

He was taken aback, so it took him a good while to respond with “Euh, yes, I suppose that I do.”

I refused to let this gloriously good-looking man off the hook.  “Well, do you intend to do anything about it then?”

At this point, the poor thing was pretty tongue-tied.

I stood up so that my face was inches from his.  (To be more precise, my face was inches from his chin, since he was deliciously tall — definitely part of his appeal in this barren wasteland of diminutive Parisians.)

I arched my eyebrow as best I could and hoped that it formed an interrogative expression.

After some stammering, my unfortunate victim (who, to avoid my expectant gaze, was still staring down my shirt, by the way) finally came out with, “Well, now that you mention it, I’d love it if you’d have dinner with me sometime.”

Of course, I replied, “I’d love to.  My name is Hélène.”

I gave him my number and alit at the next stop.

I know that he’ll never call.  Probably a good thing.

In this city, a man of that age is guaranteed to be married.  It would certainly explain why he was so eager to ogle my boobs but so reluctant/incompetent about taking action.

Besides, I obviously traumatized him.  I imagine that it’s a little emasculating when a female basically forces you to ask her out.

But at least no one can ever say that I’m not proactive about my love life.

Next!

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Mssrs. Metro Casanova

I know that I was supposed to go speed-dating à la française this week, but my schedule got a little hectic.  So today’s post is a tribute to the men who think that the Paris metro is the perfect to place to romance a lady — the men who then proceed to fuck it up.

Metro Casanova #1

  • He tried to lick me. (I swear, you can’t make this stuff up.)  I managed to dodge his tongue, but lord, it was an unsettling sight to see a grown man try to lick my face.

Metro Casanova #2

  • He came up behind me on the platform, put his head on my shoulder, and smelled my neck with a deep intake of breath.  When I whipped around — guard up and ready to deliver a quick right jab to his nose — he said “I really like your shoes.”  Ick-tastic.

Metro Casanova #3

  • This guy is actually one of many.  It’s one thing when everyone is jostling each other during rush hour — when everyone is packed in the car like sardines.  However, the car was almost empty the other day, but this winner decided that this was a great time to come up behind me and attempt to dry hump me.  Awesome.

Metro Casanova #4

  • This was actually the second time that someone has said this to me in the past few weeks.  He tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear, “You look like a geisha.”  Seriously, what did he expect to happen then?  “Oh, let me pour your tea now, sir?”  Hells no.  I blame my red lipstick for this particular pick-up.

Metro Casanova #5

  • Strangest pick-up line of the week: “Oh, you’re Vietnamese?  My knife collection is Japanese.”  Creepy?  Or just a very enthusiastic chef?  Uncertain.

To sum up, these past couple of weeks on the Paris metro have been pretty eventful.

My favorite green coat!

Perhaps I shouldn’t wear a bright green coat or red lipstick.

Fuck it.  I refuse to look drab just because a few weirdos get all up in my business.

That coat is a show-stopper (it gives me a Marilyn Monroe hourglass figure!), and I love rockin’ the Russian Red lip when I feel saucy.

So go ahead, creeps, lick me.  Just don’t smudge my lipstick.

Nexity-next-next!

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