This is the wisdom I was given by all of my friends that had already made a weekend excursion to Paris--not to assume the French could speak my English language. If I made an effort to accommodate to their culture, they would appreciatively reciprocate.
And let's not forget about the circulating rumor that the metro system was dumpy and smelled intensely of non-artistic graffiti and urine (pretending of course that graffiti has a scent).
For the latter tid-bit of counsel, they were 100% correct. For the former, you would have thought I was obnoxiously flashing THE finger and marching around loudly to the National Anthem for merely being present. It was a definite wound to my supposed wise and well-traveled ego.
I'm not as cool, cosmopolitan, refined, wonderful, and cultured as I thought I was. Whatever.
I retaliated and eventually gave up talking much aloud at all....which is almost a good thing because in France there is almost too much to look at and take in. Such intricate details. To and on everything.
No seriously, everything.
Versailles (below) was almost like being on a sugar high from sour razmataz at eleven at night. Talk about nuts.
Let this be a testament that Paris CAN be done in forty eight hours with no sleeping, lots of walking, and frequent stops for crepes, macaroons, and all other delicious varieties of pastry (okay, so maybe I was enjoying Versailles on a sugar high).
-Arc de Triomphe
While we were trying to capture the Eiffel Tower, one of the street vendors approached us in the hopes of pawning off his keychains for more than they are worth. Taking my new no-talking-to-French-people rule to heart, and my zero tolerance for salespeople that think overbearing persistence will win them every potential transaction, I kept trying to shrug him off. I could make a living off of ignoring someone. My mom on the other hand, blame her faulty kindness or the recent Diet Coke flooding her veins, but she was handing him over a few euros before I could say "c'est la guerre"--the only other French phrase I know. (Read here.)
He took this as grounds to flaunt a victory and consequently, I was called Lady Gaga everytime we passed him the rest of our Parisian stay (which surprisingly was quite a few times in that big city...).
Would you be a little offended?
L*sacde#@blu! I wish I had known more French phrases..
making the switch.
4 years ago