There are so many polite things I could have said to you when your navy blue Longchamp wallet fell from your purse, landing at my feet outside metro Saint-Michel. “Madame!” or “Excusez-moi!” would have been most appropriate.
What I actually said was “AIE-OH!” which is French for “YOO-HOO!” which is an entirely ridiculous thing to say to someone who is WALKING AWAY WITHOUT THEIR WALLET. But that’s really not the point, you see. The point is, in a moment of panic, AT LEAST I REACTED IN THE RIGHT LANGUAGE.
What’s next? Saying “Aie!” instead of “Ouch!” and “Oh la!” instead of “Oops!”