I say “meet” because it’s not like we had a proper sit down chat… And it’s not like it was something exclusive or anything.
I was just there, among 1200 other invited loonies.
I must admit that as a French expat, I do enjoy these types of gatherings.
Mainly of course as we get fed quite well, and because the crowd tends to overdress, so you can also feast your eyes on some quite smart-looking people.
For security reasons, we had to show up more than an hour before the event, and for god knows what reason, the president was over an hour late for his speech.
We were sweating our pants off, all gathered under the tent in the garden (for security reasons, yet again), and were given water and coke so we wouldn’t dry out like starving stingy Frenchies.
The president eventually showed up, and did quite a (very short) speech, promoting the Franco-Vietnamese friendship, a lot of blabla, no big revelations, a bit of local ass licking, thanking and saluting the French communities around the world and us especially for promoting French culture… All in all, it was a tad pointless, apart of course from the fact that it was the president of France saying all these random things.
As he was finishing up his last “thanks”, the buffet started unwrapping itself and the crowd divided into 2 distinctive groups: those who were eager to get a selfie with “the Man” at any cost, and those who were there for the wine and cheese.
As cool and sexy was the very show off idea to get a close up pic with Mr. Hollande, the simple idea to mingle with all those sweaty & respect less gang of groupies was a no-no.
And the smell of cheese was really starting to get to my taste buds.
I think that’s the very cool thing about being a French abroad. Any random situation is an occasion to eat and drink. Unfortunately here, we’re a bit too many in this situation, so getting your piece of cheese, of bread and getting your glass of wine becomes a real battle, as you’re surrounded with starving animals.
Respect, civil courtesy and all the social codes are thrown away, and it’s a tad surreal to witness this food orgy.
And for those who are really into getting tipsy, wait till the end of the event, as the waiters will be downing the rest of the bottles, serving you with massive generosity.
So ya… I kind of met the French President. I mainly ate well.