Alex Leigh came to visit in me in London and then we took off to Paris, the City of Lights. We had fun doing all the touristy stuff and for the last day and a half Jennifer joined us. Jen is a friend of a mutual friend, or in my case internet-nemesis, who's studying there for the semester. She was very nice about the whole thing, even when Alex set her up to look the fool. Thanks Jen!
Some observations about Paris and the French:
Parisians use perfume. A lot of perfume. I don't know if this is true for the rest of the French, but Paris smells like the inside of a perfume bottle. Maybe they never got over the habits of the court of the Sun King or something. Myself, I've never been able to find a deodorant that makes me smell all dewy fresh all day, but Jennifer told us they market a deodorant in France guaranteed to last two days. Strong stuff indeed. I could possibly use some of that.
They also like small dogs. Could be useful when you need soccer practice I suppose.
Sacre Cour is absolutely gorgeous.
There are far too many stairs in the city. Everywhere you look, or rather, everywhere you want to go is either built on the top of a hill or manages in some other way to have at least 100 steps leading up or down. Bring good shoes.
Despite this, Parisians seem to walk a lot. They do however not like waiting around at pedestrain crossings: Even the little red guy is putting his hands to his side and impatiently taps his foot. The green guy then stomps off with a very purposeful stride.
The guide book said to skip going all the way up the Eiffel Tower. We thought it was a stupid recommendation and went to the top. It was a stupid recommendation, the view is really fantastic.
If you go, go Eurostar. Compared to the major hassle of flying, it's so very nice.
The Louvre is really big. Trust me, it's really big. It also has lots of really nice art stuff in it. The large scale French paintings are amazing and Delacroix is now a new favorite of mine. Of course, the building itself is a major piece of art with its stunning architecture.
Notre Dame is quite worthwhile. The inside is tranquil even loaded with tourists and the galleries and walkways give you a fascinating view of gargoyles and central Paris. I hope to visit this cathedral sometime during mass and without the tourists.
Rudeness. Everyone always say the French are rude. And they're all wrong! Besides the really pissy girl in the supermarket checkout, and a few indifferent waiters, everyone was very amiable. If you're living there and have to put up with millions and millions of clueless visitors who don't even speak your language it's all too easy to get pissed off. The Parisians should be lauded for not killing and eating all the dumbasses like me who come there to gawk at them and the city.
They clean the streets every morning.
I'm not fond of French food. Ok, so it slightly redeemed itself but it's still not a fav. And what's up with them charging USD 3.80 for a small coffe?
I will definitely come back!
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