I just got lucky. By which I mean:
As I biked home from teaching this morning, I noticed several cops gathered around a motorcyclist I presume they had pulled over. One can’t help but rubberneck a bit; there’s schadenfreude in watching someone else get a ticket. That is, until you realize a cop is hailing you, too.
He gestured to his head, so I thought he was complimenting me on being the one young person in France who wears a helmet. So, like a dope, I smiled at him. He said something that I heard as “man on the ground,” so I said, “Pardon?”
As it turns out, I was being reprimanded for running a stop sign on my bike. The cop said, “[somethingsomethingsomething hon hon hon] c’est un STOP.”
“Oh?” I said, eyes wide, making my best Feel Sorry for a Foreigner face. “C’est un stop?”
“Ah, bon. Yez,” he said and waved his wrist to be rid of me. “Go, go, go.”
I’m lucky I didn’t get a ticket and I have the French work ethic (slash frequent lack thereof) to thank. For once, it was really nice for me that someone couldn’t be bothered to repeat himself.