Je suis revenue!
I have returned!
What a fabulous ten days it was, friends. I want to tell you about it.
How to do it within the confines of a single post?
That’s like asking The Small One to pick his top five Legos, and, forsaking all the rest, only play with those five for an afternoon.
But I’ll try. So please indulge me as I present you with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek list of:
Parisian Do’s and Don’ts
Do consider renting an apartment.
If you plan to stay for more than a couple of days? It’s a very economical choice that beats the pantalons off of selling your firstborn off in order to pay for nightly hotel room fees. Throw in on-site laundry and cooking facilities? And you’ve got yourself one suite deal.
Ladies, don’t bring your high heels.
Or your bling. Or your revealing clothing. Or your loud voices. Or your push-up bras. To say that French women are understated is…well…an understatement. My group knew about this before our departure and did our darndest to blend in with les femmes locales.
Our flat-heeled walking boots, stud earrings and black-on-black ensembles served us well, but our raucus laughter screamed America, time and time again. We might as well have been wearing star-spangled top hats singing Yankee Doodle. C’est la vie.
Do prepare to be wowed by Exceptionally Obedient Parisian Dogs and Children.
No leashes, harnesses, muzzles or sedatives required. For the dogs or the children. If I have any more of either in the future? I’m totally shipping them off to Paris for boot camp.
Do partake in delicacies like fois gras and pate’. But don’t snob off to the Nutella crepes and French fries.
For a city renowned for its fine dining, Paris is up to its proverbial eyeballs in Nutella. I’m not complaining…I personally love the stuff. But to my mind, it’s comical that I can purchase fois gras and Nutella crepes within a stones throw of one another. And the French fries? They’re fab. Despite the fact that French fries are not French, people consume them 24/7. They call them les pommes frites and eat them with everything from eggs in the morning to garden salads at dinnertime. Also? They prefer them with mayonnaise. Tres highbrow.
Don’t be taken in by Parisian street scammers.
They abound in the city of lights, friends. If you don’t keep your eyes wide open and one hand on your billfold, you’ll be robbed blind before you can say Champs-Elysees. While on a walking tour, my friends and I asked our guide about the times that we felt that attempts had been made to swindle us:
Friend 1: ”I was stopped by this lady who was walking toward me. She knelt down and picked up a gold ring off of the sidewalk. What was that about?”
Tour Guide: ”Ahh…she was a gypsy. That is a scam. They tell you that you dropped the ring. When you say it is not yours, they insist that you keep it anyway. If you do, then they bother you for money as a show of your appreciation. Do not fall for it. Just keep walking.”
Friend 2: ”Okay…how about the all of the people hanging around the train station who want me to sign their petitions?”
Tour Guide: ”Another scam. You stop to sign, and while you’re concentrating on that, their friends swarm around you and pick your pockets. Never agree to sign anything. Ignore them as you would the ring gypsies.”
Me: *And what’s with that group on the bridge over the Seine holding signs saying, ‘Free Hugs’?”
Tour Guide: ”Those are the people who are offering the free hugs.”
Have you been to Paris, friends? What do’s and dont’s would you add?