lundi 24 mars 2008

I love this town

If you’ve read any of our earlier postings, you might get the impression that we do not like France: we go around stepping on enormous dog turds, we get mischarged for basic services, and we’re dehydrated because drinks are expensive (not the wine, thank goodness). This weekend, however, we played tourist guides to Diego’s sister, Carolina and her friend, Caroline. In showing them around our new hometown, I was reminded of all the things I love about this city: our neighborhood (Montmartre), testing the baguettes, croissants, and pain au chocolat at different neighborhood bakeries, and the amazing public transport system.

I had a ball taking the girls out on our Saturday morning errands in the neighborhood market. They were amazed at how delicious all the fruits and vegetables looked, and had fun looking at all the meats at the butcher shop. We also spent the better part of the day popping in and out of boulangeries, and probably driving the baker crazy because we could not decide what to buy. In only two days, the girls have, in addition to bread and pastries, tried lemon pies, pizzas, merengues, and eclairs. Our next mission is to get some maracons.

In addition to sampling all the culinary delights, we’ve also visited the traditional tourist attractions. On Saturday, we went to the Eiffel Tower and from there walked over to the Champs, the Arc de Triomphe, and Concorde (stopping at a cafe en route, bien sur). We spent Sunday morning at mass at Notre Dame (If all churches were this beautiful, I’m sure people would become more religious), and then went to flea market and the Louvre today.

While it’s been fun to see the sights all over again, dealing with the hordes of tourists is annoying. I can’t even begin to imagine what August will be like. To make matters worse, many of the tourists make very little effort to speak French. At the Louvre, for example, I had about five Americans speak to me in English without first inquiring as to whether I speak English. At one point, as I was standing in an area that was blessedly free of people, two young American women behind me said, “Excuse me,” because they wanted me to move (I don’t know why they could not simply walk around me). They made no attempt to speak in French and expected me to respond to their English-language request. Feeling a bit mischievous, I pretended not to speak English and did not respond. Instead of rephrasing their request in French, they walked around me, saying, “Some people can be so rude.” Some people can be so clueless.

2 commentaires:

Colleen (aka CQ in DC / quinncx) a dit…

how fun reading about life in Paris!

You guys might enjoy Apartment Therapy- they have a Europe correspondent that posts fun resources and house tours. You can check out the AT Europe posts here.

Can't believe the Hoyas blew it so early in March Madness...

makietdiego a dit…

I'm glad you like it! I want to post more pictures, but we always forget to take our camera when we are out and about town.

Thanks for the Apartment Therapy recommendation. They have some inspiring ideas. Diego and I have really gotten into decorating and have finally moved into the world of non-IKEA furniture by exploring the flea markets and antique shops here :)