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La drague

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Jun 20th, 2004, 08:54 PM
  #1
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La drague

Hi, I'll be visiting Paris and I've have been hearing of a very common occurence where men will try to put 'la drague' on you. Supposedly trying to approach you on the train, street etc. I've been advised not to smile(!) as Frenchwomen do not-it is considered a come-on. As a young woman for whom this will be my 1st european trip, I am a bit concerned. Could anyone help me out with more info on this phenomenon? Any comments/advice is welcome. Thanks!
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Jun 20th, 2004, 09:16 PM
  #2
 
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I don't know that expression or exprience, but I can tell you when I was alone for the first time, going to the South of France on the TGV. I boarded the wrong train but didn't know it. It was not moving yet. A guy started a conversation and to pass time, I replied. He asked where I wa going, and when I replied, Avignon, He said Mon Dieu! I was on the wrong train, he helped me to leap off , carry my luggage and race for the few minutes before my train left. He kissed me on the cheek and bid me bon voyage.
La drague? No, drama, suberb.
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Jun 20th, 2004, 11:15 PM
  #3
 
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If my memory serves me it literally means a dredge and figuratively is to be cruising for some action, so to speak. The verb draguer is to dredge or sweep for something.

And yes, if you make direct eye contact, hold it and/or smile, especially the two together it may be interpreted as a come-hither sign...probably by a lot of guys whatever the nationality, actually, but more so for the French than Americans. The further south towards Italy/Spain you go, the worse it gets in my experience. When I lived in France I quickly learned to adopt a rather bored/bland expression, stare out the metro window and always act like you know where you're going as you exit train/metro/building etc. even if you have no idea where you are. Americans are much more forward, noisy and act "interested" in a naive sort of way versus the French "Savoir Faire" attitude. For 2 years I had no problem until my sister came to visit. We were harassed non-stop...until I caught her looking around in the metro and smiling at everybody as she made eye contact...well, duh! A few practice sessions, and we weren't bothered too much after that. We also didn't talk...unless you're wearing your fanny pack and have a camera around your neck etc, it is getting harder to definitely tell by clothes alone...it's more by mannerisms. And boy, do Americans stick out in a crowd on that one! But that's just MHO.
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Jun 21st, 2004, 01:20 AM
  #4
 
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Is this "phenomenon" ("where men will try to put 'la drague' on you) something new to you? It is as old as sex: a man coming onto a woman (and vice versa) and the same "rules" apply in France as in every other place: you smile back, you express interest which usually means one of two things: you are either interested or you are pretending to be (and I won';t even bother with the common name for THAT kind of behavior).
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Jun 21st, 2004, 01:47 AM
  #5
 
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Klondike is right about the whole "drague" thing. My tactic in Paris was to listen to my walkman and have a book to stick my nose in on the metro or bus. That way you avoid any unwanted stares, and it means you can ignore sleazy guys if they try and strike up a conversation.
When I first came to France I got myself into a few surprising situations by chatting to guys (as I would have done in the pub back home in the UK) just out of politeness and friendliness, but they took it as a complete come-on, and then felt within their rights to harrass me for the rest of the evening after I'd made it clear I wasn't interested!
But guys don't tend to come up to you on the street unless you're waiting around on a street corner or something.
Another quite cheeky trick that a friend of mine used to use was to pretend she was deaf. Of course, that won't work if you've got headphones on!!
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Jun 21st, 2004, 03:58 AM
  #6
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Hi fanah,

To quote an old Sophia Loren movie; "Keep your nose up and your skirts down".
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Jun 21st, 2004, 11:38 PM
  #7
 
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I swear, my sister & I were not looking at anyone as we walked down the street in Paris when two dredges tried picking us up. I think they just targeted us as tourists since we are Asian. Maybe they were looking to rob us, who knows? Each of them took each of us tightly by the arm and tried (too hard) to sweet talk us. Fortunately I was working out a LOT at the time, so my guy felt my bicep and was kind of intimidated....I flexed it and then broke free, which also kind of startled him. I guess if you do get approached, bust out your self defense moves!
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Jun 22nd, 2004, 04:11 AM
  #8
ira
 
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Hi all,

Melissa's experience prompts me to suggest this means of defense:

I bring a small air horn, available at any boating supply store, that fits in pocket or purse.

When you push the button it emits a blast audible for one mile.

Not only does it scare the accoster, it brings out everyone on the street to see what is happening.
ira is offline  
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Jun 24th, 2004, 06:00 AM
  #9
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Thanks for the replies, everyone! Guess I'll have to brush up on my karate chops b4 I leave!
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