Liberté – Egalité – Jambon: America Vs France


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.