I flew from Prague to Paris on Monday. I had to get out of Prague, it was killing me!
I am half French… my mom’s maiden name is Dionne… her side of the family was so French Canadian that I pretty much couldn’t really even talk to my grandparents on that side… they spoke very little english… and REGRETABLY now, I didn’t pay much attention in the EIGHT years of french classes I took in school.
Whenever I am in Quebec, it only takes a day or two for me to start to remember a lot of that french I learned… but after spending the last year loosely learning Spanish, it has messed my brain up. On the flight here I couldn’t even count to five in French… I was like “uno.. dos… tres… quatro..”… DAMMIT! “uno… dos… tres… quatro”!!! I couldn’t figure it out.
But after being here for a few hours it is slowly coming back… but now I am losing the Spanish… Some people are really good at numerous languages, but apparently my brain holds a max of 1.5 at any given time and if I learn any of another language I have to compensate by forgetting some of others.
So, anyway, being half french I thought I should come here and, well, see if I am King… but just like in Scotland, I appear to not be the King… at all. So I will leave soon.
Actually I am scheduled on the chunnel train to London tomorrow afternoon… so I might go walk around the Champs Elysee tonight a bit, then maybe try to check out the Louvre or something tomorrow before I get on my train.
So far the only thing I have noticed here that is different from anywhere else I have been: their subway is this crazy labrinth (I was lost in there for about 20 mins just trying to get out)… I kept walking by artists and singers, and they always had a fairly decent sized crowd around them… and usually the crowd was like, highly fashionably dressed… like one black guy i saw was sitting on the subway stairs in a pinstriped black suit with a sweater and tie underneath, smoking a cigarrette, listening to this girl play guitar. I kinda get the feeling the french like to sit, smoke, drink coffee and wine and just talk and listen to music etc.
I will obviously see the more touristy side of Paris later when I visit the main areas near the Champs and Eiffel Tower etc.
I am reading the Da Vinci Code right now as it is one of the only English books I have been able to find in the last few months… it is actually a very good book, I recommend it… but half of the book is about Paris… the Louvre… etc… so it kind of has me interested in doing the tourist thing… VERY BRIEFLY tho… I do not want anyone to think I am a map carrying, photo taking tourist like every single other person I see… seriously… why would you take a picture of something like the Eiffel Tower… I can kind of understand if you are in the picture (even then, it is terrificly lame), but people just stop and take a picture of it. The internet has 1,000,000 pictures of the Eiffel Tower… why do you need your own special one? And heck, even if I wanted (why I would never know) a picture of myself in front of the Eiffel Tower, I could just download a pic off the net and photoshop myself in if it meant that much to me.
Anyway, I don’t understand it, but there must be some reason everyone does it, because everyone does it… to each their own. My own personal brand of tourism consists of sleeping most of the day in my hotel room, then spending the rest of the day on the internet… working… researching and reading about the place I am in… then going out, having dinner and then harassing the local 18 year old girls at dark, smokey discotheques… I am sure to many that doesn’t make sense either.