Sunday, June 03, 2007
While out drinking into the wee small hours on rue de Lappe last night I and the person I was with were approached by a young man who was a bit chattier than we we thought necessary. However, rather than rudely dismiss the fellow we humoured him for a bit in the hope that he would soon go away. When he asked me where I was from, I decided to replace one letter in the usual adjective and said that I was 'islandais'. Saying you're Irish to a French person usually attracts the most banal platitudes and clichéd compliments (we're such great fun and yes, they hate the English too) but being Icelandic changes the terrain completely. The language is obscure (the young gentleman even asked me if I could speak English), the country is obscure and the only thing anybody knows about it is Björk, whom, I assured the young fellow, is a credit to the country, beloved of all Icelanders. The conversation was mercifully short and the chap looked elsewhere for chat. I think I'll be Icelandic again soon.