Posted by / Category London /

It’s Monday morning. I am starting the week with a much needed cappuccino. The week has barely commenced but I already know that I will not have a minute to myself. Usually, my morning’s coffee is my favourite time of the day. Today, things are slightly different.
Shortly after sitting down two middle-aged guys come to sit at the next table. They are French and talking loudly, as if the coffee shop belonged to them. This is clearly a risky bet: London is the biggest French City outside of France. They don’t seem to care…
One of them explains that he is back from Singapore and that he was able to watch a raunchy movie, Adele, on the flight back. He says that it was embarrassing to watch the love scenes while the air hostesses were serving the meals. He copiously comments on their looks. He seems very proud of himself and smiles broadly. He also keeps gushing with pride over his sexual comments. What a sleazy man!
To make matters even worse, both guys seem to be enjoying themselves like mad. I would understand if they were teenagers suffering from an hormone overload, but clearly they have passed this stage. What is wrong with them?
They continue to shout various borderline obscene comments, mainly about female colleagues this time. The size of their breasts seems to be the topic of the conversation.
I don’t know what to do. I wish I couldn’t understand any French, but I can’t help it: I happen to be French, whether I like it or not. There are other customers in the shop, and they are all ignoring them.
I don’t want to make a fuss, especially as it is the start of the week. I should try to ignore them, right? But I can’t. I find it incredibly hard to comprehend why someone would take such pleasure at shouting sexually-charged comments in a coffee shop. 
What to do ? After five long minutes and an empty cup of cappuccino, I grab my iPhone and pretend that I need to call someone. I start speaking French, obviously. They look surprised, and seem to find it very funny. I need to up the ante. I stand up and prepare to leave the coffee shop. While I stand up, still pretending to talk on the phone, I say (in French ).
‘ I was sitting next to two frustrated Frenchmen who couldn’t help boasting about themselves and make sexual comments’
And I left. They looked stunned. What would you have done?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Classic, Formidable! Top points to my favourite Yummy Mummy!!

  • Only waited 45 seconds!

  • Nice one, Muriel. No idea what I would have done. Maybe asked them to speak louder so the people outside could hear too…

  • Ha! The perfect response I’d say, Muriel. And they certainly should look stunned…what an awful pair.

    • Thank you. And yes, it was an awful pair. I never know how to deal with such behaviour…

  • You are my hero(ine)! This is brilliant. Perhaps they are compensating for some shortcomings…

    • They probably were. They weren’t even good-looking!

  • I don’t know what I would have done, but I think your response was brilliant.

    • Thank you. I felt that I had to do something. Maybe I shouldn’t have.

  • Just Brilliant !!!

    • Thank you. I am still shaking just thinking about it all…

  • Bravo! Kudos to you for having the guts to do that! :-))

    • Thank you Joy. Between you and me, it was more difficult that I thought…

  • Your reaction was perfect – I don’t think I would have thought to do it, so good for you!

    • Thank you. It wasn’t a nice way to start the week, believe me…

  • Lou

    Great reaction! You are fast on your feet- I would never have thought of that!

    • It took me 5 long minutes…really long minutes, actually…

  • Hahaha! Love it!!!
    When listening in to swedes having private conversation in London it’s always about money or trainers, never sex 🙂

    • Really? Well, Lisa, you are lucky. It wasn’t a nice experience.

  • I would have told them they were rude, ignorant toss pots straight away…..

    • I was too surprised to say anything at first, I must admit.

  • Just the right reaction.
    I might have said something to them in parting. Or at least a cold stare.

  • Just the “happy ending” I was hoping for! Thanks for providing me one!

  • That was classic! Great stuff; I’d have done the same if I spoke French & it was about something that irritated me.

    • Thanks, Mitch. Saying something was harder than I thought.

  • Bravo! We need to stand up for ourselves more often, against the way women are objectified in so many ways, whether it’s in ads selling cars, or in everyday situations such as the one you encountered. And you have done so in a dignified manner, without hysteria or vulgarity. I sure hope these men felt bad afterwards! I’ll definitely remember this next time I witness that kind of behaviour.