I was at work just a moment ago - grabbing my headphones (which I left there Friday evening because I had other things/people on my mind) and sending status reports to team leaders (also forgotten for the same reasons as the headphones) - and the city is noticeably full of Frenchies, or at the very least supporters of the French rugby team.
There's an international rugby match going down in the city in just a few hours - New Zealand vs France - and supporters of the away team are doing a good job of letting everybody know they're there. Bright red/white/blue wigs, face paint, clothing, flags and capes are standard fare. So are loud French songs which I can't understand, although I think that's mostly the point.
One group in particular was heckling anybody, in a friendly (ie: non-soccer fan) way of course, that obviously looked like a New Zealand supporter. And, for those who didn't at least look like a supporter of France, sung to loudly and in their general direction. As I headed to work, this group's and mine paths were going to cross.
Ah crap, I thought, I may not look NZ enough to be a New Zealander, but I'm definitely not a Frenchie. So as I neared them, I prepared myself for some form of undecipherable sports chant.
The chant however, never came. Instead, they looked at me approvingly, like a fellow Frenchie, hands raised in greeting to what they must've thought was a fellow France supporter. Hmm, maybe they reached a gap between the verse/chorus of their song I thought, except that the group proceeded to sing to the guy immediately behind me.
As I reached work and sat down at my desk, I was still thinking about why I had been skipped over by that group of France supporters. So I set my red/white bag on my chair, took its contents out, then took off my blue/off-white jacket and draped it over my chair. And when as I had these 2 items in-front of me, it finally clicked.
I am a big fat walking French flag.
Walking through the city for the rest of the day felt a bit weird. Where previously my new winter jacket told all polar winds and sub-zero temperatures to fuck off, it and my bag were now in cahoots, broadcasting my treason in 2 different languages. I guess I should be glad that I didn't run into any groups of NZ supporters, or that I'd be going to the game tonight - a speck of red/white/blue in a sea of black...
Personally, I didn't feel too bad. I'm not a big rugbyhead, but I know NZ has lost all the major games to France in the last 8 years (ie: 2 World Cups). So no guilt on my part for accidentally supporting the team that beats NZ when it matters.
Go France! :P