Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Letter From Paris (I)

Bon Jour!

We made it! Flying on Christmas is not, I repeat NOT less crowded than normal. A lie I am still trying to find someone to blame (currently, I am blaming the Wesely Snipes' movie "Passenger 57").

I am not sure how long I can type because my patience with this keyboard at the little cyber cafe I found is already at an end. Punctuation is all located in the wrong spots and the letters A Z Q W M are placed in places so incovenient, I imagine the French rarely use them at all--making it difficult to type. EXAMPLE: "
We have walked approx. 1000 miles during the last few days. We seem to think everything is much closer than it is. Today was a red-letter day in walking as we went to the Louvre (seeing a lot of it; yet still not seeing it all), and then went to the Arc de Triomphe--walking some 385 steps to the top (there is a warning before you head up). Needless to say, my dogs are barking.

The only news we get here is CNN International--so we are all well informed on what is happening in Iran after the quake--however is anything ELSE happening? That's ALL they are reporting. We've also been watching the French News, and while we don't understand what they are saying, it fun to comment on the fabulousness of the news anchor--he has these amazing eyebrows that form these well sculpted trangle/arches. You can see my priorities remain in order.

The French have been more than patient with our French--or lack there of. Lots of pointing and nodding. Jill nearly killed a poor postal worker who kept urging her to use a pre-paid envelope to send postcards because it saves about half a cent per letter--Jill would have none of it; she wanted the envelopes to have a postmark. The poor guy kept saying how it was cheaper and would get there faster... he couldn't understand why she wanted to spend the extra half cent... after about 3 hours of this he relented. (by the way the 3 hours is in Euros, which works out to be about 10 minutes US). Naturally, I bought the prepaid envelopes--I didn't want to be the cause of the first French employee to go 'postal' ('postale' in French).

I went to mass at Notre Dame on Sunday. Truly spectacular--except for the tourists walking around taking pictures of the church... the mass... the priest... Later, I went back toured the church while a mass was in progress--they had two (count 'em TWO, gift shops running--while the Catholic Church is responsible for the religious aspects of the church, it is owned by the French government who knows a thing or two about getting every last dime from the tourists.

UPDATE: it has now been 40 minutes since I started this letter--If you hear of me being involed in an international incident, it started when a keyboard was thrown through a window...

The French are all young and beautiful--both the men and women--all stunning, thin, well dressed, looking fabulous wherever they go... I hate them.

The weather has been cold--we picked the windiest day to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower: Gorgeous view; bitter cold wind; It cut right through us. I can't imagine the poor people that went up on Sunday when it was even colder, windier... and raining.

Speaking of cold, it is my mission while I'm here to tie my scarf like the French; Everyone does it differently and everyone looks more cool than the last. I am in awe of their scar tying abilities--the US is way behind in scarf tying technology. Every tme I attempt to tie my scarf I look like I stuffed a bunch of socks in the top of my shirt--things pointing up everywhere (there are only two ends, so how can there be six ends sticking up at any given time? You know you've achieved something when the blasè French stop, point and stare.

I shall write more when I get a chance. Musee d' Orsay is tomorrow!

Au Revior (if that's how it's spelled, it was a total accident)