Place St Michel, latin quarter, le pantheon, St Etienne church

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By this time we have acclimated enough to the language and the culture that we are feeling oh so comfy in this town. At the first restaurant we ate at on the very first day we learned that if you want to order water the waiter will ask, "gas or no gas?" which refers to carbonation. You don't order a glass of water, you order a bottle. And you drink wine. Lots of it. Having a bottle of wine with lunch is not unusual and fully expected at dinner. By tuesday we were pretty confident in our mealtime skills that when it came time to order desert Bryan had decided on ice cream which in french is "glace". In pronouncing this word the e should be silent, but Bryan accidentally pronounced the "e". The waiter politely informed him that he had just ordered an iceberg. After four days in paris one gets a bit giddy and so this seemed liked the funniest thing ever. At another restaurant we noticed another american family ask the waiter if he spoke english and the waiter jokingly asked them if they spoke japanese. Touche. All in all I was prepared to be met with the steroetype of the french being rude. I now believe that it is some sort of american based urban myth because we found the culture lovely and the people more than gracious. Manners and humility are universal, and so is a sense of humor. Pack that and you can travel anywhere. We did see a few instances where americans were living up to the ugly stereotype of being demanding. One in particular was a woman pitching a fit on the eiffel tower because the lift was closing and she wasn't allowed to go to the top. The poor french guy had to endure a tyrade of how he had ruined her vacation. I was embarassed and ashamed for the message that she was perpetuating for the rest of us.

Paris lives up to its nickname of "city of love" as you see people kissing everywhere. On the metro, on the street, in the cafes, everywhere. Of the handful of European cities that we got to see it was by far the cleanest and well kept city which revealed a real sense of pride for its beautiful culture.





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This page contains a single entry by Blair published on June 28, 2005 11:54 AM.

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