Bonjour, I don’t speak French, but I learned the hard way a new French word: Jambon!
I was just in Paris for two days. Next to my hotel in Place d’Italie there was a restaurant called Hippopotamus. The name cracked me up, so decided to give it a try even though it looked like a mediocre TGIFriday’s.
Because I’m a perpetual diet, ordered a salad. The menu noted that salad came with “jambon.” I politely asked the waitress to hold the ham.
The request turned out to be a stupid American move, as the waitress made clear with her blunt reply: “No, monsieur, we don’t change anything. That’s how it is.”
What would you do in this situation? I smiled and ordered the soup – but made sure to ask “sans jambon?”
This encounter was a stark reminder that as much as Muslim Americans face serious challenges here in America, we are light-years from Europe. The big news in France while I was there was a new law banning mothers accompanying school trips from wearing their hijabs.
I’ll take America any day over anywhere in Europe.
Meanwhile, I’m behind on a whole bunch of posts to get. Incoming.