30 June, 2011

The Men with the Flowers

I have so many things to write about at the moment, but as I was about to start, I was interrupted, so I am not even going to talk about the several subjects I need to touch on (SOON!). As I write this, I am sitting at Culture Rapide (my favorite local, très bohemian cabaret) waiting for the Blues Jam night to start (which has become my Thursday night tradition).
I love this place; I can sit in peace, writing and thinking, without being disturbed by rowdy fellas or obnoxious gals. That being said, there is always the disturbance of the "Flower Men" (not an official title, just what I have labeled them). This disturbance has just happened, but it was welcomed :)

Here in Belleville (the 19th arrondissement of Paris, if you forgot) anytime you go out to eat, you can expect for there to be several men who will enter the restaurant throughout the course of your meal, attempting to sell you flowers. Some of them are très pénible, as in they will just stand in front of you while you try and enjoy your entrée of skewered watermelon, feta and smoked salmon (with a Greek mint sauce), repeatedly asking you if you will buy a flower--yes, this is our entrée (appetizer) this weekend.

Working in a restaurant, I know all the flower men, as they come into my restaurant every night of service. Whenever I'm out-and-about in the neighborhood at other bars and restaurants, I run into them. Tonight I chatted with one of my favorites; he is never annoying, doesn't speak much French or English. In French he knows how to say "How's it going?" and "Is it busy tonight?" and "I will return later." and of course, "You want?" (beckoning to the flowers in his arms). I felt so proud tonight, as he carried on a long conversation in French, using phrases and saying things that he has learned in the last few months. Every Friday I buy a flower from him, to decorate Kiwizine, but when I'm outside the restaurant he always offers me one as a gift. After our chat tonight he gave me a flower, smiling and bowing as he continued on his way, a long night of walking up and down the hilly neighborhood ahead of him.

I sure do love people making an honest living.

Stay real, and do what you do.

♥ hannah lee

No comments:

Post a Comment