Vive La Résistance

July 26, 2007 at 2:37 pm | Posted in vie quotidienne | 8 Comments


Sorry about the lousy lolcat, but I had to express my excitement somehow.

Also, I had to tell you about my badass saleslady. First of all, she asked me for ID and when I said all I had was my American driver’s license, she said, “Oh, on s’en fou!” Isn’t that kinda bad language for a business transaction? And she wasn’t some hip kid, either, she must have been in her forties.

Then she started asking me all these questions — birth date, address in the States, address in Paris, etc… I told her, I’m only getting a prepaid phone — why do you need to know all this stuff? And she said, no kidding, “so the government can track you.” I must have smirked, because then she said, “You know, it’s not like America here,” and started going on about “l’état flic,” the police state, and how it’s getting worse and worse all the time, and how soon they’re going to require everyone to have Navigos so they can tell where everyone is all the time.

So, trying to keep up, I say something about how now Sarkozy is going to make it all worse. She seemed like she’d be sympathetic to this perspective, but she said, “Oh, I don’t know, the others were just as bad, they just didn’t tell you about it. At least Sarkozy is honest about being a fascist. The others just want to control you in secret.” I felt like I just tapped into la nouvelle résistance!

Anyway, it was a much more exciting conversation than I was expecting.



  1. It’s one of the main differences between France and other countries: people love talking (complaining…), but you can have great talks with almost anyone you barely know: cab drivers, homeless people, people queuing… even some cops can be friendly (it is quite rare, though).

  2. I wouldn’t have been surprised to discuss the weather or, say, mobile phones, with her. But I guess it’s true that most Americans wouldn’t have gotten so political with a total stranger.

  3. Seriously, I’ve always thought that if someone wanted to construct the perfect crime, the Navigo carte would provide the alibi. “With all due respct your Honor, how could I have been at Ménilmontant when my Navigo pass clearly indicates that I was between Bonne Nouvelle and Grands Boulevards??”

  4. Haha, Aralena, great point! Surveillance measures like these only affect the law-abiding… criminals can always find a way around them, or even use them to their advantage.

  5. I never even considered the Navigo as a tracking device! WOW!

    Where did you go to get such a great sales lady? I have a hard time believing that someone at Orange could be that hip is what I’m saying…

  6. It was in the shopping center at the Place d’Italie, Jenn — as unlikely a place as any!

  7. a cell phone, a credit card, there are many devices that can be used to track you…
    it could be for security or more commercial reasons, I don’t know which is worst…

  8. U nied a ringtons.

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