Monday, October 20, 2008

Rabat-joie

My friend Nina taught me the word rabat-joie in French. She explained the meaning to me when she met one of my coworkers from when I was working in the Cote D'Azur. HAHAHAHA! In other words, rabat-joie means buzzkill.

This past weekend, Christine was accompanied by her coworker - they were both being sent to Ireland for work after this short trip to Paris. Well, her coworker was definitely a rabat-joie.

When I picked them up from the airport, she seemed pretty friendly. I assumed she was just really shy. I mean, she seemed like a nice person. I figure she just needed a little warming up. I can be extremely shy at times too so I understood. Or perhaps she recently moved to California for work from SE Asia and didn't feel comfortable speaking English since it wasn't her native language. But then I was told she had been in the US for eight years already. It was just really odd that she didn't want to converse with us.

Our first meal, she didn't say a word. She would just give these weird looks when she ate her food. The next day when we had lunch, she continued with these weird expressions. She obviously didn't like her food again. And she tried ordering cheesecake at a very very French restaurant.

For dinner, we met up with three other guys that were attending Ferrandi this year as well as Amanda. She didn't say a word to them. During dinner, her and Christine ended up at a separate table than us since it was so crowded. I wonder how that dinner conversation went?

It was a Saturday night so we all decided to do something chill after dinner - we got a few bottles of wine and went to Amanda's to watch the Office. Of course she didn't want to go. But Christine had to tell us because I guess she didn't want to speak with us.

The next day we went to eat crepes. I asked her what she wanted, and she said the mushroom, onions, ham crepe. When she received, she continued with her weird expressions and started deconstructing her crepe. Amanda asked her if she liked it. She kind of mumbled. I looked at her plate, saw that she had pretty much taken out ALL the filling, then quizically asked her,

"Um... you don't like mushrooms, onions... or ham...?"

She mumbled that she didn't like the ham. Amanda and I just looked at each other a bit confused and a bit annoyed.

Later when I left the table to go to the bathroom, Amanda followed, and Christine went to use the phone, she was sitting at the table alone. Amanda returned and quickly sat down at the table to try to keep her company. The moment she sat down, Rabat-joie took out her iPhone and started playing with it. And didn't say a word to Amanda.

I had an appointment to look at an apartment, so thankfully, Amanda was nice enough to take her and Christine to Pierre Hermé. I mean, how can you come to Paris and not go there? Christine spent a good 60 Euro on a box of macaroons. Her coworker didn't want to try it at first. Then Amanda convinced her to try the dark chocolate and caramel one. You can't go wrong with chocolate and caramel right? She hated it.

At this point, I was borderline offended. Not simply because she didn't like macaroons. Everyone has their preferences. It was because everywhere we went, she refused to speak to us, made constant weird faces about the food, pouted everywhere we went, and hated everything. She didn't want to try anything. French cuisine is my passion and career and I really feel that Paris is my home now. I spent a great deal of time thinking and planning and she was just a huge BUZZKILL about everything that contained a gram of amusement. You don't walk into someone's home and tell them everything in it sucks.

I met up with Nina for dinner the next day and was telling her about this rabat-joie that I had met. Naturally, as a Native French woman, Nina was quite surprised on how much the rabat-joie hated French cuisine (especially since I ordered simple and non-risky dishes for her), and the fact that she didn't say a word to anyone in 2.5 days. Then when I said she hated the macaroons from Pierre Hermé, she paused, took a moment, and said,

"I never want to meet this girl. Ever."

HAHAHAAH. So there you have it. A true and complete RABAT-JOIE.

In addition, I received an update from Christine today. She is in Ireland right now and is fed up with babysitting the rabat-joie. She can't take her anywhere because she pouts everywhere she goes. And tries to order tofu in Irish restaurants. Bonne Courage, Christine !

3 comments:

Rafael Donnay said...

wow, well unlike Nina, I actually do want to meet this Rabajoie. I can't believe that someone like this actually exists.

Ysabel said...

Doesn't like macaroons?? Dark chocolate and caramel macaroons??!! I would have slapped her upside the head :) ....and then eaten the macaroon.

nina said...

On n'a qu'une vie et tant de choses à apprendre et à découvrir alors… .