Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Paris: The City of Bridges and Vuvuzelas (?)

Okay, so it's been a couple of days. Didn't know I'd get complaints from disgruntled readers. In any case, Monday: a bunch of wandering around, familiarizing myself with the city. Did some grocery shopping. Found the local "Target:" called the Monoprix. Also spent practically half an hour trying to figure out how to say "detergent" in French. (It's lessive liquide.) Almost bought fabric softener (which they have way too much of). Also bought my first French pastry (and ONLY French pastry so far, thank you very much): pain du lait au chocolat. Very tasty. Set out on a touristy hike in the evening and stumbled upon some beautiful sights. The Notre Dame, of course, which is about a ten minute walk from where I live:
Had to ask some random friendly-looking man near me to take my picture. Unfortunately, he spoke neither French nor English, so communication was difficult but not impossible. Lost in translation? Use hand motions. Smile a lot. Will is key.

Some more pictures for your delight:

Somehow, wandering around, I stumbled upon the Pantheon. That was ridiculous. It was sunset, so it was beautiful but my camera failed and decided to not load any "image data" for those pictures, whatever that means. In any case, I don't have pictures of it right now but I will! I love that Paris is a place where you can simply wander around and stumble upon famed and historical sites. It fascinates me. Also found several Starbucks; I am saved. The sun here sets a little after 10 so there is plenty of wandering and picture-taking in my future. (Also found a fountain...forget what it's called. But also quite beautiful).

Okay, on to part two.

Part Two: A La Tienne

Apparently, when getting a drink with a friend, it is polite to say "a la tienne," meaning "to your health," if one wants to avoid having seven years of bad luck. This I learned from a Parisian lawyer who also happens to be a Princeton grad. After meeting me by the most beautiful work building possible (picture above), we took a long walk through the Jardin des Tuileries, past the Louvre, through several districts, on and on... He took me to a bar he frequents last night and introduced me to a) a very good non-alcoholic drink, b) his businessman-bartender Buddhist friend, and c) numerous French expressions. Also introduced me to a very friendly cabbie who drove me home at 11:30. (and paid for everything, natch--the Princetonian, not the cabbie...)

Watching a World Cup in a French bar was really quite the experience. People all up and down the street (a chef in his chef uniform, a waitress in hers, another worker, several passersby) walked by and stood outside the bar window to catch a peek at the game (which, of course, the Netherlands smashed out of the park).

Of course, no World Cup match would be complete without people walking down the crowded French streets in the sixth with a Vuvuzela. Yes. Throughout the Parisian streets. The sounds of a Vuvuzela. Pleasant.

In any case, the rest of the day was very tame in comparison to my four and a half hour foray with the Parisian lawyer (who left me for an hour to go attend to a business call while I watched the match, chatted with a father-daughter pair about L'Espagne and their chances of winning and talked to Jerome, the bartender, about his choice of music. Also said that Budhapest was in Thailand. Thank you, Princeton education).

Work was a snore. Work is a snore. And I only worked for about two and a half hours yesterday (the rest of the time spent waiting for my employer, lunching with my employer and talking to my employer about the job). I'm either photoshopping pictures (not even in interesting ways) of Byzantine seals or entering information about Byzantine seals into a database. Wow. Thrilling.
But my employer is adorable and very friendly and upbeat. She also has a British accent when she speaks English...In any case, she'll be out a lot so I'll probably take frequent breaks so as to not fall asleep. Apparently, Rebecca (my fellow Princetonian intern) simply reads blogs a lot. She even goes home early.

So those have been my past two days. The food au Foyer is okay. Breakfast is underwhelming, but I have high expectations of breakfast. Dinner (the one time I've had it) is pretty good. Can't really complain too much. I'm not paying for it.
Until tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Hey wife,
    I'm so glad you're having a good time in Paris! I'm sure it's amazing! I will also take it upon myself to respond to every post of yours, since I'm just as free at work.