Blog Post #4 – Jambon-Beurre

Today has been a great day. I slept in late, and I walked to a boulangerie that was recently recommended to me. To describe the situation, I arrive and in flawless (almost) French I order a ham sandwich and a Coke. I ask, lacking confidence, if this was included on the discount menu for 7,50 euros? They look at me blankly, a moment of loss in translation, but then suddenly it clicks and I pay my 7,50 for my lunch. As I walk out I think to myself, did I get ripped off? How on earth could a 5 euro sandwich and a Coke be 7,50? I did ask to be on the discount menu, but could the combo menu have been more expensive? I am fuming! This sandwich is the sun to my morning, but suddenly clouds have appeared on the horizon. This is my negative cultural evaluation. I think that I must have been taken advantage of. The silly American paid a Euro extra! “Hoh Hoh (French Laugh), we got him good!” My two-minute walk to my apartment was filled with, not joyful hunger, but a full stomach of contempt! 

As I have been going through the D.I.V.E. (Describe, Interpret, Verify, Evaluate) method we practiced in this week’s module, I had done the first two steps but not the last two. I hopped on Google found the menu, and saw that Coca-Cola was 3,50. I saved 1 Euro. Looking over this incident, I think that as my comfort has grown in France, my atena of being the silly American has grown more and more. I am not just a run-of-the-mill tourist ready to fall for silly tricks of the trade. I believe this sandwich can be less of a meal and more of a peace offering between me and France. I need to trust that what I get in this country, will likely be tasty and good! The D.I.V.E method helped me think critically and get over my own mental hurdles, which allowed me to enjoy my sandwich. It was a culinary treat!