I was going to Paris fully expecting to hate it. According to the minimal online research I did before the trip, Paris was flooded with pickpockets, scammers … rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists. OK, maybe not Methodists. French people were supposed to be at the least unfriendly, arrogant and condescending. And it was dirty, trash-covered and filled with people desperate to get to the nearest disgusting public bathroom but forced to tap-dance in hour-long lines in front of it. None of this turned out to be close to the truth.
Looking back on our trip I think a little more planning would’ve been nice; I did some research but apparently not enough to get us to the right places at the right times. We played it by the ear and I think we ended up fitting as much into the three days we’ve spent in Paris as was possible without it starting to feel like work. We also realized how much we rely on our phones to find our way around, discover places to eat, buy tickets, look at train schedules and subway maps. Since a certain phone company’s charges for the international data plan are incompatible with my sanity, our phones were set to WIFI only, and free WIFI in Paris is not as abundant as I thought. Talk about socialism fail. Having some roaming internet access would’ve been helpful.
People in Paris turned out to be fine. Some of them spoke better English than others, but between their English and the only French phrase I know “I don’t eat six days” (Je ne mange pas six jours) we did fine. There were some things I thought I could’ve resolved better if I knew more French, like I am pretty sure we were screwed by a cab driver but he didn’t respond to my plea about the six days of hunger. Or I wouldn’t have to stare at the chalkboard menus and then just order something so I don’t hold up the line. But mostly we found our way around and with the help of the internet access at the hotel were able to plan our sightseeing and subway trips.
In the end we both loved Paris, its sights, its food, its atmosphere. Three days is not nearly enough to see even a fraction Paris has to offer but it’s enough to make you want to come back.
I am sure every traveler to Paris take a silent oath not to bring back as many photos of the Eiffel Tower as those other losers. Resistance is futile. From the first glimpse of the Tower on our first day we couldn’t stop photographing it until we left town. There will be about 50 photos of it in this post.
Looks like too many people didn’t feel like standing in line to the restroom.
Surprisingly, besieged the hoards of tourists Parisians still manage to lead normal lives.
Fun Fact: there are about 20,000 steps to the top of the Notre Dame de Paris:
If you try to pronounce Versailles as it’s pronounced in Missouri – Ver-Sails – French Police has the right to taze you.
Ain’t nobody got time to stand in that line.