Monday, August 9, 2010

Paris: The First Week

Aphrodite of Milos
a.k.a. Venus de Milo
I’ve been in Paris for about a week now, which I imagine is a typical length of time for a Canadian tourist and here is what I’ve noticed so far:

1. If a woman is wearing comfortable shoes, she is probably an American tourist. Parisian women seem to make a point of wearing very nice, if not uncomfortable looking shoes at all times.

2. The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.

3. Using high-school French in Paris is a little like having a white belt in karate. If you accidentally sound like a Francophone in your first sentence, you will be beaten before you utter another word. The responses are just too fast. It is best to speak French like an amateur to announce your white belt status.

4. So far, I have found the idea of French ‘rudeness’ to be a myth. Everyone has been perfectly happy to converse with me using my terrible French or to assist our communications with a little of their terrible English.

5. The brassiere, though invented in France, is optional equipment here.

6. To my surprise, the shops are all closed on Sundays.

7. Saturday night is *the* night to party in Paris. Everything is closed on Sunday, making it the perfect hangover day.

8. For some reason, I’ve had no desire to try the metro. There is too much to see above ground.

9. There are these interesting grey bicycles that you can rent (if you have an EC card) and deposit in another grey bicycle location somewhere else in the city. It’s a very cool idea, though I never feel safe on a bicycle in any city.

10. Parisian dogs poop on the sidewalk and no one seems to care.

11. When in Paris, Richard Branson is not to be trusted.

More to come next week!

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