Greetings from Paris!
I know, I’m kind of surprised too! Although I shouldn’t be. This trip has been in the works for quite some time now.
Brief History of Our Trip to Paris
When Isabella was 12, she decided that she wanted to go to Pairs when she was 16 for unknown reasons. I said okay, you’d better start saving up for your plane ticket (imagining this would be a passing fancy in the tradition of Tae Kwon Do and Bratz dolls). But no! The Girl Who Wants Nothing squirreled away more than $1600 which paid for her plane ticket back in November. So, here we are, propelled by the dreams of a 12-year-old to the City of Love for a few days. Then we’re off to a village near Geneva to visit a lovely friend whom I haven’t seen in… I forgot how many years, but lots.
Jackie and I bonded over margaritas many moons ago while working at a New Mexican restaurant in our 20s, my first waitressing job. This experience was notable for my inability to discern one cheese-covered entrée from another for the first two weeks of my employment, an unfortunate dilemma I resolved by simply loading up my cart and asking the customers to pick out what they thought they had ordered, or what looked good. Surprisingly, I was not fired. But back to Paris… you might be wondering what we have planned? Well, in keeping with my commitment to an intuitive, stress-free vacation, we have nothing at all planned. Except for three things, two of which were added today:
Outline of Plans
- Meet my uncle, Cole, who happens to be in Paris for work, for dinner tonite.
- Have no spare change in my pockets, ever, on account of it’s all been spent on good coffee. This task will not be hard to accomplish, as there are cafes and wine bars on, and between, every corner here in the Latin Quarter, where our tiny, tiny hotel room is perched 6 floors up.
- Behave as UnAmericanly Touristy as possible in public
- Do not wear jeans, collegiate sweatshirts, and gym shoes together
- do not speak English in front of French people
No English? How so, you might wonder? Well, as Isabella will testify,* I’ve become proficient at suddenly leaping from English to a foreign-ish diction composed basically of French vowels that I’ve picked up from Isabella’s music, and whatever signage is in front of me (not that I can read French), pronounced in convincingly soft, lilty phrases that always end on a high note. While walking down the street and not pointing at things.
“Jour oui, oui oui oui soup-son, les cloches et vouz parlevouz cafe. Poulet. O! fromage! Rue boulevard san Michel frites et les alters……” etc etc.
*Isabella actually seems mortified by this, I’m not sure why, and refuses to indulge my conversation starters except with a very un-fun, “Mom, you can’t camouflage stupid (incomprehensible).”
I hesitate to call myself brilliant, but really, I am. I employed this same language technique in Haiti, when I utilized a dazzling mixture of Creole and Spanglish to politely request that my personal moto-taxi driver in Jacmel not kill me on the way from the beach to our hotel.
So far, we’re blending right in! And I haven’t even broken out the three striped shirts I brought, which I intend to wear all at the same time.
But that’s fun for another day. Ouri vois for tonite, it’s late, I’m tired, and we have a whole day of nothing tomorrow. And by the way, I apologize for the lack of original photos — it seems that our camera USB cable disappeared from one of our suitcases (thanks, TSA). It’s doubtful we’ll be able to find another here, but hopefully, we can use Isabella’s phone for at least a few pictures in the next posts.