Paris: So Far, So Good

Kristin offers an excellent account of our first day in Paris. I have only a few things to add.

It’s true what they say – most of the French seem willing to cheerily accommodate you if you attempt to speak the language, even if you knowingly mangle the grammar and forget which consonants to swallow. They’re actually quite sporting about it.

I’m really glad Kristin took the time to read up on standards of dress here. I won’t claim that I blend in perfectly, but at least I don’t look like a mark. I see a lot of tourist couples where the man is my age and my (sightly inflated) size, and he’s wearing a polo shirt, jeans, cheap running shoes, and an electric blue backpack over both shoulders, and I think, “Damn, I want to mug that guy.” I might try it, just to see what it’s like.

The neighborhood is kind of funny. The Sacré Coeur basilica is an imposing structure that looks down on you from its hilltop and declares: “Catholicism is Serious Business”. All the way down the hill, people are engaged in a variety of un-serious and not especially Catholic (though arguably catholic) business, such as selling Eiffel Tower knick-knacks, drumming and dancing, caricaturing tourists, selling counterfeit handbags, and drinking wine from the bottle on the steps of the basilica. I should note that the drinking was being done not by alcoholic vagrants, but mostly by respectable-looking twenty-somethings. It’s not something you’d see in the U.S. – but then, neither is Sacré Coeur.

2 thoughts on “Paris: So Far, So Good”

  1. B suggest 3 three things (or more), to see;
    D’Orsay (the impresionist and post impresionist exihibit) and the cafeteria was pretty good too.
    Take a bus tour of the city
    Versailles (take the train) unbelieveable oppulance
    Girverny (my spelling needs to be excused please) again, the train – great country restaurant near by – Home of Monet
    Rodan museum – the kiss, gates of hell, etc.
    And, of course Mona Lisa at the Louvre but the most fun is looking for clues to the holy grail or swiss cheese…

  2. Oh, yeah. Don’t forget the show at the Moulin Rouge – It’s fantastic.
    If you have insomnia, go for a walk and get a gyro or whatever down near the river – excellent.

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