Sunday, April 03, 2005


I can pick these out before they even open their mouths. Junior Year Abroad. They rumble up and down the Champs Elysees in packs of three or four, armed with Vuitton knock-offs and Daddy's credit cards. On the street they blend into the general crush of people, but on the metro their camouflage vanishes. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Traci.

Warning signs:

-- If headed for weekend in Cannes to visit NYU boyfriend: bright red or blue North Face backpack, complete with plastic water bottle swinging to and fro, cow bell style. Because they’re going to dehydrate on the EasyJet flight. Because France is a dangerous, dirty country where the water is riddled with bacteria. Gross!

-- Valley Girl English.

-- If cutting class during the soldes: shopping bags from the Galleries Lafayette, heaped to overflowing with smart blouses and cute skirts. Because the Gap doesn’t sell things like this. Because Daddy gave me his credit card.

-- Triple chins.

-- Male version: North Face again, this time in fleece form. Pants three sizes too big. Last haircut dates from four months ago. Optional accessories: baseball cap (ragged), athletic sweater, ratty sneakers, bleary-eyed buddy from State U who just disembarked from Amsterdam and is still looking for the next coffee shop. “Whoah, dude!” soundtrack not included.

-- Body shape-inappropriate clothing. For JYA females, this means not enough fabric, stretched over too much flesh. Ominous, welling midsection. Look out, it might overflow.

-- Sweatpants.

If confronted with JYA, best plan is to scowl and look French. And hide the English-language novel sitting innocuously on your lap.


Blogger Emily said...

Valley Girl English?! OMG!!! That's like totally similar in nature to Wall Street English! Except for, like, it's totally kind of the opposite, you know what I'm saying?!

PS. Do I look fat in this?

11:38 AM, April 03, 2005  
Anonymous ddj said...

What IS the deal with those Nalgene bottles? Is the mouth of a regular water bottle no longer wide enough for the average consumer?

There are so many warning signs that you're being approached by a tourist, but you're so right about the metro stripping away the camouflage. The most obvious sign: they're the only ones on the metro who are talking.

2:58 AM, April 04, 2005  
Anonymous Nicolas said...

In addition to being the only ones in the metro talking, they also are the only ones who don't know that you have to lift up the handle on the doors to open them. Um, like, was this post, like, bitchy?

7:03 PM, April 04, 2005  
Anonymous Nicolas said...

Pardon the gratuitous swipe at the JYA - but really - WHY the sweatpants?

9:13 PM, April 04, 2005  
Blogger jkirlin said...

We are being represented abroad by sweatpants? Greeeat.

3:41 AM, April 06, 2005  

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