May 5, 2008
Without going as far as calling it mysophobia, it's pretty clear to me that French people aren't quite suffering from the fear of germs: my cashier took over for her coworker, sitting at her register with a pack of french ham that she ate with her hands as she rang people up and handled a bunch of bills and coins. I, of course, could not help but think about all the hands and places all that money had been through (living eleven years in the States did not help.) Then, a few days later, a different cashier was munching on chips while ringing up her customers and chatting with her chubby friend standing right behind her. While standing in line and waiting for my turn I listened to their heavy-crunching-interrupted conversation that was about the chubby woman going to a wedding and how well she was going to eat. Her friend the cashier promptly replied that she was gonna get fatter! I looked straight up at the chubby woman with a smile because i was not going to pretend i hadn't heard the joke that everybody around heard and she looked at me and everybody else seemingly slightly shocked for a split second, before observing that it wouldn't make too much of a difference considering how big she already was. And then they went straight back to their crunch this, crunch that.