maarmie's musings

Thursday, May 24, 2007

PARIS! (day 2)

On day 2, C* and I used the Eiffel Tower as a starting point. Getting there involved a 10-minute walk from the hotel. We climbed halfway up the tameable beast for this view, among others. That body of water, my friends, is the famous Seine:

Afterwards, we strolled arm in arm along the Seine before catching a train to the Louvre. We didn't go into the Louvre, mind you. There were far too many tourists waiting to get in, and we didn't feel like spending our whole day fighting our way through the maze that is the largest museum known to man. Instead, we sat outside:

This photo is in no way representative of the enormity of the Louvre. For better pics, go here.

From there, we did the walk of shame (all tourists, all the time) up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe:

Along the way, I snapped this photo of les jardins des tuileries:

The Champs Elysees is a minefield of tourists and swanky shops. Several high-end car dealerships sit along this row of shops-that-are-way-too-expensive-for-my-meager-budget.

Halfway between the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe, C* and I decided to rest on a bench. It was there that some maniacal kleptomaniac pilfered C*'s sunglasses and a box containing ONE cigarette right out from under us! The aforementioned items sat between us on the bench, and the lunatic took a seat on the bench behind us facing the other direction. Somehow, he/she managed to secure the glasses and cigarettes in his/her grubby little paws before heading off down the street. We considered ourselves lucky that that's all that was stolen from us during our stay. After all, signs at the Eiffel Tower warn visitors of pickpockets. Those nasty little Frenchies!

After a meal of table wine, cheese, fruit, quiche and bread procured at an outdoor market, C* and I headed back to the hotel beaten by exhaustion. We stayed in the rest of our last night in Paris. The next morning, we hunted for souvenirs before getting back on the train that would take us to the bus that would take us to the plane that would take us to the car that would take us back home.

Side note: Americans hate the French. That's how it is. We mock them. We call them weak. We think they're faggots. We are certain they are rude. I don't think that way, of course, but your average American is brought up harboring a certain disdain for all things French. Lucky for me, I have ignored it all. Instead, I immersed myself in the French language and culture from the time I was in middle school. I studied French throughout middle and high school and got a minor in the romance language in college.

Since I was young, Paris has been the one thing I had to had to had to had to experience to consider my life complete. I have to say after experiencing it that it's everything I ever imagined and more and that America is way, way wrong. All the French people we were fortunate enough to communicate with were helpful and kind. Some even went out of their way when it was obvious they were in a rush to help us get to where we needed to go even though our language skills and accents were way under par.

So, in summation, fuck you, America! I'm siding with the French!


palinode said...

I never had a problem with any of the people I met in France. They were overwhelmingly nice and helpful. At the hotel I stayed in the south of France, one of our waiters was rude, curt and barely competent, but when I ran into him in town he turned out to be friendly and talkative.

The trick is not to come off like an asshole. Then people are magically decent to you in return.

maarmie said...

Amen, brother!