Alilo arrives in Paris, met by his hip cousin Mok. Alilo is to pick up a suitcase of dresses to smuggle back to Algiers for resale. He's lost the dressmaker's address and his boss is gone for five days, so he stays in the Moskova neighborhood of the 18th arrondissement with Mok. Mok makes rap music of Jean de La Fontaine's fables, invents fabrications of his own, is in debt to his bookie, and in love with a punk rocker. Alilo's old-country sweetness, in contrast with Mok's big-city neuroses, gets the attention of Fatoumata, a lovely African neighbor. Once Alilo gets the dresses, he must return to Algiers, but it seems he's only started to live: is there any way he can stay?