Jul 12 2010

LV’s Paris

I parted with my family at Louis Vuitton on Champs Élysées (101 avenue des  Champs Élysées, Paris 75008) because I wanted to see the red dirt of Roland Garros. LV store is on the southwest corner and across the street of Av George V,  at the southeast corner, there was a sizeable café with awning wrapping around. The famous avenue was busy, so was the café. As soon as I crossed Av George V reached the café side. an Asian couple in old t-shirts with god-knows-what stains approached me.
The wife asked: “Miss, are you Chinese?”
“Yes!” I replied crisply, and putting my hand on hers, as to say, ‘sister, no worry, I’m here to help’. Samaritan 见义勇为 is my thing. Never mind I was a tourist, and never mind that all I remembered of French was nothing more than merci and s’il vous plaît. But Irene has a big heart and is naïve.
Wife: “Could you go buy us a few LV bags?”
As I was catching my falling jaw, the husband said 愤愤不平 indignantly 忿忿不平 …
“They won’t sell to us.”
I’ve heard and seen the long lines queued up outside of the store near the Arc de Triomphe but being refused a buy? Was French taking the capitalism to a new level?
“They said we bought two many yesterday …” The husband muttered.
Had LV played the role of CIA, too?
“Here,” the wife took out a wade of Euro in multiple colors and a yellow PostIt with the item numbers, and stuffed them into my hand.
“Take it. Please help us!”
The event turned completely from what I assumed damsels in distress. I was facing the street, and wondering if the patrons in the cafe saw the transaction.

They saw my hesitation, and took out more Euros.
I was not smooth enough to extract myself from the conspiracy. Armed with 1,200 Euros I went in. A young woman named Emily (she did remind me of Amelie) served me. When she put the three bags according to the Yellow Post-It, I almost fainted. The styles were so last century. The couple has gone through so much trouble just to buy those junk? However junk they might be, a few minutes later Emily returned to give me the bad news:
“My manager told me that we don’t have enough inventory so you could only buy two.”
What did I care?
“Please take out the one you like the least.” I told her.
While waiting to pay, she brought me a Champaign in an appropriate glass.
When I went out, the couple immediately reappeared, merging from the crowds.

鸡婆 一个. 自己的法文连应付餐馆点菜都有问题,还管什么闲事儿!