Thursday, December 02, 2010

Don't forget to say "Thank you" and "Good-bye"

I'm at the post office. I want to send a bottle of Calvados to my Great Uncle. I didn't realize you can't ship liquor to the United States. I present my wrapped bottle to the clerk and ask for a carton to ship to the US.

Clerk: "What is it?" (in French)
Me: "Wine" (In French). (I lie because I figure since wine is like water here maybe that is more permissible than alcohol.)
Clerk: "No liquor to the United States."
Me: "What? Really?"
Clerk: "Yes Madame. Look here in the guidebook." (He gets out the big guidebook with all the shipping rules to every country. Flips to "Etats-Unis" and puts his big fat finger on "No liquor to be shipped to the United States" section.
Me: (Annoyed and aggravated. Well, what else can I do? Nothing. No point of sticking around and discussing this or arguing or anything. So I take my bottle, turn and go, which, by the way would be an acceptable New York response.)
Clerk: (Annoyed and aggravated that I didn't adhere to French "codes" begins to "call" me upon it.) "Au Revoir Madame! Have a good day Madame! Thank you Madame! Au Revoir!!!!"
Me: (Realizing I've "broken" a French code of conduct, annoyed at this and annoyed that the clerk is trying to shame me...) "Au Revoir!!!!" (without turning around as I am exiting the building).