French Behaving Badly

I’ve suffered from compulsive FOMO for years: “fear of missing out.” This crippling disease has led me to argue with myself out loud at the fork in the road, exhausted from a 14-hour day, over whether to go home or not.

Place des Vosges: It's cayute.

Luckily for me, it’s a great disease to have when you move somewhere new. I keep trying to go to events, having it kind of fail, then work out spectacularly by accident. Last night I manned up and went alone to a group language session, only to find the bar was closed for a private dinner. While I awkwardly waited for my late friends, I noticed that an awful lot of people were wandering into the Place des Vosges. Some of them were wearing capes.

I had finally found the university students.

Apparently Paul won.

Apparently the Université de Nancy was having a night to choose captains for their hot air balloon competition in May, and we were in for a soirée of limbo, arm wrestling, jokes, inadvisable martial arts attempts, and indecent proposals. I’m used to being the one who is kind of inappropriate and loud (Americans: guilty), not the other way around. I was wearing tights and after a while I couldn’t feel my feet, but no matter! If I manage to see any of the people that I exchanged phone numbers with, it will be worth any discomfort. It really already was.

After all, I learned that the French word for “pompadour” is “banane,” and that’s important vocabulary.


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