Trading authenticity

So I was just back from a few weeks of behaving like a complete tourist, crashing on strangers' couches and filling my backpack with all the most typical stuff I could find, when my mum and I decided to have breakfast on the marketplace, to celebrate Mother's Day.

It was a very fine morning, with swifts screeching and tourists walking around with big flashy plastic flowers and the market still wet from the morning's cleaning, and we were sitting at a table covered with coffee, croissants, and bags of fresh fruit from the market, facing the fountain and shadowed by plane trees, with my mother's wicker basket hanging from her chair. A perfect morning, and the server wasn't even bitching about us bringing food to the table. We were chit-chatting about one thing and the other, when a group of Japanese visitors walked by our table, following their guide and her large scarlet flower. One of the ladies wore a silver-grey kimono, complete with a yellow belt and a striped haori. It was the first time we saw a lady in a kimono around here, and we turned around to admire how elegant she looked.

At that precise moment, we realised that a gentleman from the group was about to snap a picture of us, sitting at that lovely terrasse and looking as French as anyone can dream of. We looked up just in time to face his camera, realised what was going on, and flashed him our best smiles.

What's more authentic than two French ladies sitting in a café, happily watching a group of picturesque Japanese tourists?


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