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