Europe 2001: Paris
|The guy on the left, that's my husband. lol|
These. These are the only pictures that I have of Paris, and the first one doesn't even count because I'm in the middle of the English Channel. And truth be told, all of these pictures I got from friends. Why do I only have three pictures of Paris, you ask? Because I loaded my damn camera wrong!
I had never had a film camera before, because I always just used disposable cameras. But I wasn't going to lug around 50 million disposable cameras in my suitcase (space was precious!), so I got myself a dinky film camera. The first couple days I filled the camera properly, but somehow I suddenly became stupid and loaded it completely wrong. So I technically don't have any pictures of my last day in London, and nothing of Paris. Friends told me that they would give me some more pictures, but that never happened. So this is all you get to see of Paris. I apologize.
From what I can remember, Paris was a dirty city, and the people were rude. My friends and I approached a restaurant to ask where there was a bathroom. We knew where it was, but it was locked, but we did not know how to convey that in French. I managed to ask, "dove le toilette?" and the woman, who understood me, pointed to the locked bathroom area. We tried to tell her it's locked, but she looked at us, got irritated and just walked away.
But that's not to say we didn't have fun experiences. While walking towards the Eiffel Tower, I spotted a bunch of military men on a bench, and thought, that would be a fun picture! So I approached them, asked if any of them spoke English (one of them did), and asked if we could take a picture. They agreed,and suddenly military men came out of the woodwork! Even some passing military men jumped into our picture! I'm pretty sure we had about 30 of them in a picture with us. I am the most sad that I don't have that picture, and never even got to see what it looked like.
We were warned when we went to Montmarte not to shake anyone's hand, because they would immediately start weaving a bracelet around our wrists. I thought that was really funny, and these men really did try to shake your hand! The views of Paris from the top was slightly smoggy, but beautiful. I wish I had a picture of it.
The Louvre was a huge, beautiful museum. We only had a few hours there, which is completely impossible to see the whole museum. So we had to choose between things like seeing the Mona Lisa, and seeing the Venus de Milo. I chose the Mona Lisa, which was at the end of this grand hallway with pictures for days on either side. I remember running down this hallway, and at the very end there was a crowd of people surrounding the Mona Lisa. And you know what? The Mona Lisa is TINY! I didn't expect it to be so tiny. My friend tried really hard to snap a picture of it for me. Le sigh, it was all for naught.
Notre Dame was amazingly big, the stained glass was amazing, and I bought some rosaries from there for my mom. I don't even know how I managed to do that, it was so damn crowded there! I really loved the gargoyles on the outside of the building.
We ended our evening with a ride on the River Seine, which was beautiful because the Eiffel Tower sparkled, and the buildings along the Seine (like Notre Dame Cathedral) were lit up and beautiful. Again, I wish I had a picture to show you.
Paris, in all, was an interesting city that had beautiful things, but it certainly isn't the romantic city that they portray in movies and TV. I think the countryside is far more romantic than the city, but that's just my opinion. Interestingly enough, there's actually a condition called Paris Syndrome, which is considered a severe form of culture shock. Japanese people are most susceptible to it, and they suffer it because, supposedly, Paris is not all that they expected it to be. Weird, right?