I arrived in Paris yesterday as I mentioned in my last post. Since then I have made several observations about myself and the city:
1. I am more impatient than I ever imagined and in fact do not enjoy shopping for the purchases (i kind of do of-course) but mainly for the experience. Shopping in Paris on a weekend is something else. It is a pain-staking patience marathon. I must have stood in line for more than 30 minutes for a fitting room (i do not kid!) and another 30 minutes to pay. Trust me I was desperate otherwise I would not have done it. The good news is that I now own a beautiful trench coat to shelter me from the surprisingly cold and rainy July I came unprepared for..and yes, I did buy my much-needed umbrella too!
2. Frenchmen will hit on you very bluntly. As I stumbled my way with the little French I have asking for an English magazine at the newstand this morning, the gentleman behind the counter proudly announced he was a teacher and said “invite me for a drink, i’ll teach you French” — umm, no thanks! I have a fabulous French teacher, thank-you very much.
3. Paris is as beautiful as it’s weather. My wet and miserable welcome of yesterday was replaced by cloudy skies (and so far!) no rain today. It has been a pleasure to wonder around the beautiful and historic streets of Paris
4. I hate the rain. Wait, did I already say that? Well I REALLY hate it. I must state just for the record that I am in for quite a number of miserable days as it apparently rains ALOT here! Oh joy.
5. The French do not do Customer Service. This is a concept unknown to them. Yesterday, I entered a store and given how mad it was, walked straight up to one of the shop assistants (for efficient use of my time and to preserve my sanity) and asked if they had a trench coat. She pointed her finger in a vague direction and said ‘peut etre la bas’. Well let me tell you that store had no trench coats because not only did I not find it ‘la bas’ but I searched the whole store – all 2 floors of it! In contrast, I was in another store today and a lovely African American gentleman (very well versed in French) ran back and forth to the stock room several times to get me the sizes I needed. It doesnt take much to make a customer happy. Dear Parisians, please mind your manners.
6. There are more English-speaking French today than there were a few years ago. This is refreshing to see and wonderful for me as I mangle my way through their beautiful language.
Excuse me for the poor quality of photos, perhaps its time to upgrade to an iphone. For now however, here are a few photos from today.
1. The inside of the Franklin Roosavelt stop: this will take you straight to the Chams Elysee
2. View of the Champs Elysee with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, taken from in between both lanes of traffic on this grand boulevard
3. Despite the cloudy grey skies and the rain, Paris is beautiful and oh so green
4. A Parisian newstand. And the site of my romantic interlude this morning
5. Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysee. Look at that line of people waiting to get in!! Madness…
That’s it for now. More of my Parisian adventures to come..