Sunday, December 5, 2010

An American in Paris

I finally made my foodie mecca to Paris in November for the gf's birthday.  We were originally supposed to go for my birthday, but the flights were super expensive due to the aftermath of the Iceland volcano.  The weather was surprisingly pleasant (mid 50's) and the people were not unfriendly as automatically presumed (people think the same about New Yorkers).  Here are a couple more of my observations:
  • The Metro is easy to navigate and the trains come every 6 minutes (it beats walking 7 miles a day, taking expensive cabs, or collecting blisters/strawberries)
  • Man + Dog = Homeless Man (it seems like every homeless man owns a dog)
  • I'll never understand the half glass shower door - why can't it be a complete sliding shower door?  I always soak the floor, even with a towel on the floor.  
  • Sauces and butter make everything better.
  • In tight quarters, you can catch a whiff of the smelly underarm phenomenon - I guess that's why the French perfected perfume (but nothing beats deodorant).
  • People are kissing everywhere (its hard to go 10 minutes without seeing a kissing couple)!
  • Even in 40 degree weather, people still eat/drink at outdoor cafes.
  • Beware of gypsy beggars - they'll try to swipe anything they can off of your table.   
  • Everyone is well dressed - from young children to old people to men (I don't think they sell sweatpants in Paris).     
  • Strangers take the absolutely worst pictures imaginable (nothing is ever centered, they never wait for people in the background, cut off your head, etc.).  I'd rather continue to take my own self portraits.
Working in Lower Manhattan, I pass a ton of tourist everyday and always wonder why they take pictures of random buildings, parking garages, and street traffic.  I'm guilty of the same offenses on vacation - I have quite a collection of churches, fountains, statutes, and buildings.

I actually had enough patience to wait until there are no people or traffic.... 

Luckily, a lot of people speak English because I butchered French with my made up English-Spanish-French mashup.

Hotel concierge: Bonjour!  (translation: Hello or Good Morning)
Me: Monsieur! (translation: Mister!)

I bumped into countless people and instead of saying "Excuse e Moi" or "Pardon!", I would say "Miso!" (which is half of 'permiso' in Spanish which means "excuse me")

I bumped into the legs of a waitress and hit her with every french word I knew (mumbled in a inaudible whisper): "Bonjour, cote de boef...." (translation: Hello, side of beef....)
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