Thursday, May 8, 2008

ceci n'est pas une touriste

man, i've been moving around so much that i am getting my languages confused. yesterday i bumped into a stranger and muttered an apology in three different languages, english, spanish, french (i stopped at korean). this is how my usual interaction with the french workers here: i enter the store/restaurant, put my order in French, have the waitress/cashier take pity on me and reply in English, while i stubbornly continue in French. its like a battle. usually i lose. just like the french in those wars...just kidding.

melissa's friends here have been kind enough to help me practice my french, however. as it turns out, all the french swear words i know are quebecois curses and mean nothing here, so i have to be re-educated completely on how to properly cuss someone out in France french. i have to say, i am enjoying the smooth bitter feel of French swear words, so sophisticated yet bawdy at the same time. just like the french.

paris is freaking expensive. gone are the days when olaya and i can cruise from bar to bar getting our fill of lunch on 2 euro canas with free tapas. the food here is so expensive that all i've virtually eaten are ham and cheese sandwiches on a baguette (which, incidentally, are still absolutely delicious), espresso, and wine. the french baguette thing is not a stereotype here. when luke and i took the metro home, we saw so many people lugging plastic bags full of baguettes, and men in business suits absent-mindedly chomping out of baguettes while reading newspapers on their way home.

also, last night while walking home, i finally figured out my parents' warning about dog poo in paris.

so luke and i went ahead yesterday and did all the stereotypical french tourist things, checking out a bunch of palaces, statues, museums and other monuments. we walked about a total of 9 hours yesterday. we saw the eiffel tower and while it was vraiment magnifique, we came to the conclusion that the CN Tower is still far more functional.

we also went to the Louvre, which was a rather mind-blowing experience, to see the works of Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Monet, Renoir, and 4000 year old sculptures from Mesopotamia. also, more mummified cats. i was a little upset that the Code of Hammurabi had been moved; as nerdy law students, luke and i had been looking forward to checking out one of the world's oldest forms of civil law. oh well. shamefully, luke and i both admitted that the majority of our knowledge about the Louvre and the works within come from The Da Vinci Code. sigh. that was when i really started missing soloman.

later on, i went out with a bunch of mel's friend for some late dinner and red wine at a thai place in La Marais district.

interesting fact: french thai places hand out forks.
interesting fact: french thai places do not have pad thai.
interesting fact: quand Gloria boit du vin, elle dit des choses comme je ne suis pas une touriste. je suis une parisienne.
(cue carefree flipping of scarf over shoulder)

okay, now i must go and do french things. you can live the french experience too, thanks to the Flight of the Conchords: