I had a few letters that needed mailed out so I headed to La Poste. I didn’t put my watch on before leaving because I wanted to practice asking the time, if for some reason I needed to know what time it was between when I left the house and when I got back, normally only 5 minutes there and 5 minutes back.
I made it to the post office and there was a man waiting by the door for the post office to open, so I practiced asking him the time and he didn’t have a watch either. He also forgot his cigarettes because he asked me if I had any and I couldn’t help him with that or the time. Je ne fume pas, I think that means I don’t smoke or I’m not on fire; but that’s what I said and he stopped talking to me. But the sign on the door said 8h30 and I didn’t leave the house until 8h20 so I knew if couldn’t be that long of a wait. Another few people arrived at La Poste and I could understand that they were telling each other it was after 8h30.
After standing there for 10-15 minutes one of the other patient potential La Poste customers shared with one of the other gentleman that his zipper was down. He waited to share this information until the woman that was waiting for the Poste to open finally left. The man with his zipper down did an about face to the wall and zipped up his pants, then everyone there checked to ensure they were fully zipped. A few of the men chuckled so I’m not really sure if I learned the proper way to address this situation in the future in France. Do you wait until only men are present, and is it OK to laugh? Finally the post office opened 30 minutes after the time posted on the door and I was able to get my stamps without further incident.