Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Francophile in the City

"Jardin d'hiver" by Keren Ann

It is no secret that I am a little bit of a Francophile. I love the food and wine, the clothes, the attitude, the borrowed words…like connoisseur, rendezvous, décolletage, faux pas, patois, soiree. French words just exude this self confident sense of sassy, disguised as flirty little tongue-twisters that tease when they stumble through your teeth and lips, unhurried and impudent, sometimes clumsily, daring you to take that small mental leap into the inappropriate.

The inappropriate….

Without revealing my sources, mind you, this brings to mind a recent, thoroughly enjoyable, French experience that I happened upon…after several missed opportunities…and wearing what looked like an Hermes orange scarf (so said my friend as she espied our covert planning in the corner, all smiles, all double entendre). It was the last night of a string of happy, celebratory days and nights. I was on a high, from too much wine perhaps or from the momentum that had slowly built up over the night's activities even or maybe from the fact that this was the last time to take advantage of a very willing, and very qualified, advocate for the selfish arts of indulgence and gratification. I honestly wasn't sure which. I just know that a cab ride and two glasses of Makers-rocks later, I had arrived at the door of sheer and utter, beautifully inappropriate disbelief.

I do feel like lately I have been enjoying that kind of delicate balance, the one between instant reward and…dancing around it tauntingly. There is something deliciously conscious, purposeful, and patient about it, like a foreplay. It's become this intriguing game of self discipline and self discovery. How long can I keep myself at bay, hold myself at arm's length, how long…with anything? At what point does it turn into a self imposed punishment, of sorts of course? I do know that as long as I am enjoying this slow, patient game of wills, I'll continue to play it.

Back to my Francophilia, there is this French song that I've recently fallen in love with, fittingly called "Jardin d'hiver" (which means "Winter Garden"), and I keep playing it over and over again (every version that I own). It puts me in that soft, unhurried mood. Makes me want to…dally a little, enjoy that extra glass of something, slip into anything comfortable, and lengthen my acute experience, prolong it, whatever it happens to be.

It also makes me want to...enjoy a digestif, one that by its own flavor combo I am forced to drink slowly, almost gingerly. Like a classic cocktail.


The Original from Harry's Bar - Paris

1 1/2 oz. Brandy
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1/2 oz. Lemon or Lime Juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.


notes from the music box steps said...

hmmm, i think i recall a particular hermes orange scarf, wrapping up the inappropriate in a tidy little bow...

Pamela Poole said...

Even if you're only "a bit" of a francophile, you seem to understand their savoir vivre...

I thought you might like to know about, the social network for francophiles.

You can also follow us on Twitter for daily French culture bites and francophile treats! @francophilia

Merci et à bientôt.

Pamela Poole (LaGoulue)