Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Monday, November 19, 2007

I Want To Rock Your Gypsy Soul...With Some Escargot

While in Paris, Corey and I went to a little restaurant for breakfast named Paul that served traditional French food. I ordered a café and a half baguette called a flute.

Corey ordered what I thought were three items: a hot chocolate and....escargot! I never caught the third item she ordered.

"I didn't know they served escargot for breakfast."

"Oh yeah, they serve it here. It's about that big around", she said, holding her hands in a ring about the size of a coffee cup saucer.

"Wow, I didn't know escargot could be that big."

And then I pictured a giant snail being served to her smothered in butter and garlic for breakfast! Corey is vegetarian, but eats fish on occasion, so I thought she considered snails to be in the "fish" category.

I was served my breakfast and Corey was served hers. I saw the third item I missed was a coffee roll and thought the snail would be served a bit later since it had to cook.

As I was eating my own breakfast, I began picturing Corey slicing into a giant snail and eating big hunks of it. I was getting queasy at the thought. I've had escargot before and liked it, but the thought of her eating one so big was over the top for me.

She finished eating what she had and called for the check.

"You never got your escargot."

"Yes I did. It was the pastry I was eating. They call it a snail...escargot in French because it's shaped like a snail."

"Ooooohhhhh. I thought you ordered an actual snail and was dreading watching you eat it."


Gypsies are thieving scam artists. They'll do anything to avoid doing an honest day's work. They travel in humongous groups of sometimes 500 people and settle in one spot where they prey like locusts upon a community. Corey's husband endured two years of them scavenging bits and pieces of a property he owned to sell off and make illegal income.

They also act like homeless people in Paris to earn money.

I had noticed all of the chic Parisians while touring Paris. And I noticed that the homeless were chic as well! They had old, but nicely fitting clothes and decent shoes.

I've seen the homeless in NYC who are filthy with matted hair and clothing that were crusted with soil and about twenty sizes too big for them.

I don't think I could use the word "impressed", but I was maybe taken aback that even the homeless in Paris were so well dressed, relatively speaking.

Every morning at the entrance of Paul, there was a young woman speaking French to anyone walking into the restaurant. She obviously was begging for food. She looked like she could be a character from Les Miserables.

I noticed a man, who was kind of good looking, sitting on a sidewalk with his back against an iron fence shaking a dog bowl with some change at the bottom, and also noticed a robust dog laying next to him under blankets. The man was wearing nicely fitted jeans...a bit dirty, but he looked kind of chic in a homeless kind of way.

It wasn't until I saw an old woman, bent at the waist at a ninety degree angle, one foot bent inward, limping along the sidewalk shaking a cup with change in it. She was wearing a babushka (scarf tied around the head, under the chin), and a long dress like from the 1800's.

I said, "Wow, that woman is in bad shape, but it almost looks like she's faking it. It seems so extreme like she's a scam artist acting way too over the top to look homeless."

Corey informed me that she was a gyspy. It then dawned on me that the homeless people I saw who looked to be pretty chic and good looking must've been gypsies as well doing their scamming ways, hoping for suckers to give them money.

The topper was the gyspy who was sitting on the sidewalk with her back against a car, and a small, but robust child huddled in her lap with his/her head leaning against the mothers chest looking so weak and sad. The mother had a look of forlorn on her face as she stared off into the distance. The poor pathetic mama and child hoping for a sympathetic stranger/sucker to give them money so that they'd suffer no more.....Oh the humanity!

I would loved to have taken pictures of all of these gyspies as they seemed like method actors trying to get into the skin of a homeless person so that they could give their best performance in some Broadway play like.....Les Mis.

But, well, that little niggling feeling of doubt always made it's way in and made me think it wasn't kosher to take pictures.

I didn't want to come off as some callus American.


  • So, I didn't speak a lick of French when I was there. One night, my friends and I were waiting for the metro for a little while. We heard the overhead announcement serveral times and could not understand a word of it except "pick-pocket". I guess that doesn't translate.

    By Anonymous Sara, at 11/19/2007 5:15 PM  

  • Hi Shannon,
    Wow! What adventures you have had on your trip. Those Gypsies - yikes! I don't even know what to think about that.

    Oh, that whole excargot for breakfast thing was making me a little queasy too until you explained further. I'm glad it wasn't like you originally thought! Oooooo!

    By Blogger Donna, at 11/19/2007 7:58 PM  

  • so interesting. i wonder...i wish you would've snapped some photos because now i'm so curious...but i know it's not very polite.

    my mom always said she wanted to be a gypsy. many gypsies were persecuted in the holocaust. they've had their fair share of hard times.

    By Blogger Amylia, at 11/20/2007 6:50 AM  

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