A Hot Spicy
Afternoon in Paris
In the early
70s I was invited to Sousse by a young Tunisian
colleague at the London Hilton, called Chelly. He
suggested I book a double room while he would
stay with his mother in the Medina. He thought he
was getting a cheap deal until he discovered,
after I had booked on a cheap package holiday,
that Tunisians could not travel at the same cheap
rate as us Brits and that he would be fined by
Air Tunis for the difference on arrival.
Naturally he cancelled, leaving me high and dry.
Guilty, he gave me gifts to take to his mother
with a letter of introduction and more gifts for
his 2 brothers, one rich, living in Tunis and the
other a poor dolmush driver. A mishmash of class
structure with his mother, I was to discover on
arrival, eating Couscous on the floor.
was invited by the generous rich brother, Ali, to
stay a couple of nights at his home. I was thence
driven to the hilly tourist village of Sidi Bou
Said where I fell in love with the famous
birdcages that were for sale everywhere and di
rigeur in the 70s.
for a good price, I encountered a Jewish Tunisian
couple from Paris, originally from Tunis and back
to visit his parents who had never emigrated.
Madame, being nosey, wanted to know the name of
the family I was staying with. On hearing the
name Chelly, she turned to Andre, her husband,
proclaiming it was not a Jewish name! Well why
would it be?
said to businessman that I would love to return
to the enchanting city of lights and could I look
him up as I knew no one to show me the sites?
Mais oui said he,
proffering his business card stating he was an
A few years
later I came to live in Paris in 1977 through
Happenstance having kept Andres precious
visiting card carefully in my Paris box, put
aside for a rainy day.
I rang the man
even though I could hardly recall his facial
features, only that he had middle age spread and
a pot belly. Frankly he was amazed and perhaps
had no idea who I was. He told me to come to his
office in the business area of Faubourg
Montmartre in the 9em. I had visions of him
inviting me to a North African restaurant for a
good Couscous and then driving me around Paris. I
was young and gauche back then. Little did I
suspect what he had in mind for his just desserts!
I found his
office with difficulty. It was down a dark
sinuous passage. A naked lamp bulb hung over his
desk, housing a stack of papers in two piles. He
was dressed in a dark grey suit, a pressed white
starched shirt with a loud stripped tie, smoking
a huge Havana. Shaking my hand warmly, he snapped
his fingers and a genie appeared magically. Andre
ordered him to bring the car round to the front
saying he would return in a few hours.
We got into
his large chic shiny silver Mercedes with
burgundy leather seating that smelt of style and
quality. He drove a few yards and stopped in
front of a merguez sandwich stand in the busy
street. Rolling down the window he beckoned the
seller over, ordering in Arabic, 2 enormous
baguettes stuffed with sausages. That was lunch?
Did I not merit more?
The car purred
slowly to its destination or should I say to
Andres chosen destination. A part furnished
apartment in an expensive gated block with a big
double bed in the chic Ile Saint Louis. Silently
he took 2 plates down from the glass streamlined
cupboard, placing the wrapped baguettes on each,
saying Mange! I had never
experienced a merguez before. I took one bite
into the spicy sausage and screamed for water
almost falling off my chair. Mon Dieu I was in
culture shock. He was in orgasmic heaven.
I ate nothing.
Andre was satisfied with his lunch and then
I saw a familiar glint in his eye as he mentally
undressed me. Sex was on his mind. An afternoon
fuck his wife would never know about. Of
course he presumed that was what I wanted and
needed! I was lucky he didnt rape me but
after I had told him I was a respectable Jewish
girl from Liverpool and not looking for a quick
fuck, he became quite paternal and asked me if I
really wanted to see the Paris sites.
Mais oui and
so we purred away. Moi, starving but Andre, a
satisfied and beamused cunning successful Havana
smoking businessman and man of the world, took
great pride showing me some of the key points of
his adopted city. Paris.
We, bien sur,
never met again nor have I tasted a merguez since!
in Culture Rapide, Belleville, Paris on 13.9.18.