Monday, August 1, 2011

Pardonnez-moi. Excusez-moi. GET OUT OF MY WAY!

Paris is a big city and the tourist areas a packed full of more people than they can handle, which means people are in each others space. Over the weekend I went to Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Musee d'Orsay, Saint Chapelle, and La Conciergere where not one of these places wasn't packed. People would run into you and not even say pardon. My favorite was when I would say "Pardonnez-moi" AND "Excusez-moi" and the person would just ignore me. I know very well that they heard me. I don't want to lead you astray and say that all of Paris is like this. Outside of the tourist area the people a polite and nice. Plus, most of the rude people probably were tourists anyway.

I can't talk about all the rude people without mentioning the one nice woman we meet in line for the tower at Notre Dame. She was Australian, but has lived outside of Paris for a number of years now. She gave us a list of the best places to go to and how to go at the right times. Her daughter was very jealous of our ice cream cones and begged her mom for one. When the grandmother came back with one the lady we met told us it was our fault for giving ourselves a little treat that her daughter wanted one. This little girl was covered in ice cream by the time we got into the tower.

The tourist areas of Paris are also patrolled by armed forces in cameo carrying large guns. The feeling in Paris isn't of safety with all the people pushing you around, but I did notice a safe feeling whenever these guys came around. The crowds back away from them and the kids trying to get you to sign clipboards run away. It really does thin out the crowds to have these guys patrol.

The worst part came when I was out of the crowds. I was in front of Saint Chapelle where an evil stone lay waiting to trip me. Not only did I fall, but I ate it! People came running over and all I could do was bite my lower lip making an F noise. Let's just say if I had tried to speak I would have cried like a 5 year old. All I could think was, don't cry in Paris. Oh the trouble I get myself into. I feel this may have been karma for complaining about the crowds.


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