One Thursday night I was being a big anti-social lame and then my friend Jenna messaged me on facebook and asked if I wanted to go to Paris, because the tickets were so cheap.
I visited the south of France when my older sister studied abroad in Aix en Provence, and since then I had always wanted to travel to Paris. I quickly responded “oui!”, got on the ryanair website and minutes later I had a flight to Paris. What had I been waiting for before if it was so easy?
Ohhhh, I remember….because It’s much easier to travel in Europe where it’s convenient and cheap, versus dropping a grand (at least), missing work, having jet lag etc. etc. etc…
Then for various and obvious reasons I started to work on my French via Livemocha.com. It’s a good website from what I can tell except for the minor detail that I received a message from someone who would like to do sex with me. The messages are supposed to be for asking questions about language so…he didn’t even say it right. What a loser; And no, I haven’t responded because until now I forgot that I was supposed to continue practicing my French. je suis busy.
“Boy those French, they have a different word for everything.”
Lucky for us my Jenna has a FABULOUS family friend In Paris and we were able to meet up with him the first night for dinner. Tres awesome. He took us for crepes at a really cute restaurant and since it was late at night i’m not sure where we were at all.
I also thought I was more gastronomically knowledgeable to know that a crepe could have more than nutella and bananas on it….and that it could also be crispy as opposed to soft. hmmmm.
After a great dinner followed by a delicious caramel apple crepe dessert, we headed out to see the Eiffel tower sparkle, and walk down the Champs Elysees.
My friend Jenna called her mom quickly and was telling her how wonderful everything was and that we were safe. Just as that was happening, I noticed a sketchy older man walking near us. I had been warned about “Taken” and gypsies etc. and brushed it all off only to find myself in what could be a Taken situation? uh-uh.
I kept my eye on him and then when my friend got off the phone she noticed him too and said, why is that man showing us his belly? I looked and it was more than his belly…. and for some reason my only instinct and thought was “run!” so we ran away laughing down the Champs Elysees for at least a minute until we were by more people. Of course more people meant at least one more weirdo before it was time to call it a night.
Weirdo #2 had a doormat with the British flag on it and he decided to grab our arms and walk with us for a bit, asked us if we’d like to step on his doormat and probably other weird questions that I have suppressed in my memory.
We made it back to our hotel in one piece, slightly aching from laughter, and full of good food and went to bed for a big day of walking ahead of us. Friday was our only full day in Paris so we had a lot on the agenda.
We started walking towards some main sights with the goal of getting to Monmarte for lunch.
In our guidebook I read about a great place to eat, but since the book is in Spanish I interpreted bare walls as nude couples….(paredes desnudas). I feel really special about that now after studying Spanish for about 10 years and living in Spain for 8 months, but the restaurant wasn’t even open until dinner time so we settled for another cute looking place in the neighborhood that had a nice Menu del dia.
After our delicious and reasonable lunch, we walked it all off on our way up to the Sacre Coeur where two men pulled us apart, tried to put ugly bracelets on us, and called me Lady Gaga. Relentless.
I know that the famed macaroons of Paris are from La Duree…and maybe another place too, but I think these ones were yummy enough. Sometimes, a cookie is a cookie. Plus, the main La Duree is currently being renovated, or there was a fire or something disastrous that prevented us from going. Womp.
After a full day of walking around we gave our feet a break and relaxed on a boat tour down the Seine. It tells you some interesting facts as you ride along in various languages. Luckily being sort of bilingual we realized that some languages get to know more stuff than others. For example in Spanish we learned that the Eiffel tower is one of the most photographed monuments in the world. And we learned that Portuguese offers the least amount of information possible. I’m not sure how it went for the 100+ Asian people on the boat, because I don’t know any of those languages at all.
For dinner we saved some money and ate sandwiches in our hotel room and watched French survivor. We consider ourselves practically tri-lingual because we could understand who hated each other and who won the challenges all the time. We pulled ourselves out of our jamon coma in order to be tres chic and get a really expensive glass of champagne at Flute.
Our waiter loved us and really wanted a girlfriend to go see a museum with, but we kept the relationship at a few free glasses of champagne and called it a night again so that we could get as much out of our last half day in Paris as possible.
After a whole day of avoiding lines and entering any museums, our last day was dedicated to doing one final thing- seeing the Catacombs. We waited for about three hours, luckily in the sunshine to have a Parisian cultural experience. At only 4 euros for students, it was worth it. Not being claustrophobic also helps.
If I knew more french I might have been more impressed by the interesting quotes about life and mort and such, but just seeing all the various formations of the neatly piled bones was sufficiently guay (cool).
The takeaway according to Parisians: Don’t live there, but it sure is nice to visit.