Flying sièges at Park Asterix in Paris.
Peter May's new French mystery: "Intelligent, ever-moving and beautifully written" -Barbara Douglas.
le siège (syezh) noun, masculine
1. seat; bench
2. head office; center (of learning)
La seule chose que la politesse peut nous faire perdre c'est...un siège dans un autobus bondé. --Oscar Wilde
(About the only thing ever lost by politeness is a seat in a crowded bus.)
The first thing the bearded man in 34D said to me was, "Can we trade seats?"
"No," I answered, before cramming my manteau* into the crowded overhead compartment, careful not to make eye-contact with the solicitor lest I give in. When the man persisted, I buckled my seatbelt and pulled it tight.
"I'm sorry but I'll need to keep the aisle seat," I replied. "I've reserved it."
Discouraged, he turned to the young lady to his right, in 34E:
"Are you sure you won't trade seats with me?" he pleaded.
The demoiselle's* eyebrows shot up along with the corners of her lips and her head shook. She wasn't going to budge either. 34E and I looked past the man who stood between us, exchanged un clin d'oeil,* and joined forces with a high fiving nod.
I pitied the man who found himself sandwiched in a row of three, but not enough to give up my aisle seat. He'd, be okay, I reasoned. He was younger than I, probably less claustrophobic, and, apparently, persistent. I'm sure he could persist in that middle siège* for another nine hours--all the way from New York to Paris. Besides, I argued, I wouldn't do him the disservice of compromising another (me) for his own comfort. That would be bad karma (for him). No, I wouldn't wish that upon him.
I am only just beginning to understand that glossing over one's own needs only serves to dull another's reality, which is no good for either party. (And, judging from the beautiful (and stubborn) demoiselle in 34E, I'd say the man in 34D's reality would soon be close to sparkling).
References: le manteau (m) = coat; la demoiselle (f) = young lady; un clin d'oeil (m) = wink; le siège (m) = seat
le siège-auto = (baby) car seat
le siège-baquet = bucket seat
le siège social = head/registered office
le siège éjectable = ejector seat
être sur un siège éjectable = to be in the ejector seat
(to not be in a stable position)
Bellodgia By Caron For Women. Introduced in 1927. Fragrance notes: a rich bouquet of fresh cut carnations and roses. Recommended use: romantic.
France Pillow -- whimsical & hand-embroidered, will dress up any old siège
Joyeux Noel Orange Cinnamon Soap Set From France
Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
♥ Send $10
♥ Send $25
♥♥ Send the amount of your choice
"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."--Jacqueline
NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP: Has a friend forwarded you this post? Sign-up to receive your own free subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here