Paris, city of Paris-people
Trip Start Feb 14, 2006
27Trip End Dec 15, 2006
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Incidentally, considering how long Louise and I have now been travelling we have had to invent a couple of obscure conversation topics in order for us not to kill each other. One of those is the 'how many countries have you been in' conversation. However, having 9 months to discuss this topic has allowed us to pretty much cover all the fine-print that such a conversation entails. We both agreed, for example, that stop-overs in airport terminals do NOT count as visiting a country. You must leave customs in order to say you have been there. Whether Alaska is different to the USA is a topic that remains debated. However, the reason I bring this up (I am getting to it), is that both Louise and I took that overnight bus through Brussels to get to the France. The question is... have we been there? Can I ratchett one more country up on my list? I expect a healthy dose of replies to settle this (we both tend to think that we haven't, incidentally)
Speaking of healthy replies I think everyone should give themselves a pat on the back for now I have had over 1200 hits to this page! I reckon that is pretty good so thanks to everyone who checks this out and reads it. It makes the fact that I am currently sitting at an internet terminal at 1am and writing a little easier to take.
OK - Paris. This city had been built up by mother to such staggering levels that I think if I had visited Atlantis itself I would have been disappointed. Paris, in all honesty, was a fine city. I can't really be much more enthusiastic about it though. Certain things were obviously lovely - the Eiffel tower was great, the Louvre gallery was probably the best gallery I have ever visited, the world's biggest roundabout around the arc was indeed very large but, when it was all said and done, it didn't really capture my imagination.
Part of this was caused by the French language (and my inability to speak it and therefore my tall-poppy-hacking nature to not like it). On listening closely I decided that it was not as beautiful as it thought it was. I kind of feel sorry for the French in some ways - I think they have so much pride in their culture and language but are facing a losing battle against English in terms of international languages. I just think that it's usefulness is beginning to fade. Perhaps I am resentful to the French bloke who told me I had the 'English-speaking-disease' but I doubt it. If I was going to chop off one of the 6 official languages of the U.N (French, English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic) guess which one it would be? Russian. (I mean, seriously, who speaks Russian?)
I hope the tongue-in-cheek is not lost on all you Russian speakers (a language where one rarely places one's tongue in one's cheek, or so that French guy told me). Sorry about how bad that joke was but it really is 1am over here.
I also got the occasional sense that the French LIKED people not understanding their language and took pride in ensuing confusion (like at the international-departure lounge of an airport that ONLY served Spain - I think maybe SOME signs or overhead announcements could have been made in Spanish).
Speaking of Spain it is time to get back to where I belong. Seville!!!
See you all soon