Monday, April 4, 2016

Monday Musings (On Paris)

Bon Jour from France!  Yesterday was our first full day here, and what a day it was.  Arose at a very reasonable hour, went to a local cafe for cafe et croissant, conversed with a couple of women from England who were visiting for several days.  We had pleasant conversation, and then one of the women very tactfully asked, "And who do you hope wins the Presidency?"  They were pleased and relieved by our answer "Anybody but Trump."  Then, of course, we got into the horrors of  Trump, and the disaster of George W. Bush's presidency, and the glory of our current President.  They said that Europe is watching, and is scared.

Rue du Tresor, Paris
After we left them, we went back to our apartment to plan the day.  We took the good women's suggestion and took the Big Bus tour of the city.  A great way to get an overview in 2 hours.

Lunch at a Bistro several blocks from Not.  We re Dame.  We went as far back in the neighborhood as possible to avoid a tourist trap.  We werre rewarded.  Many families out on Sunday, enjoying the afternoon meal together.  Many children who, by US standards, were well behaved and engaged during the meal.

Then a stroll around Notre Dame, first around the backside because we wanted to see the least often seen side.  Again: rewarded.  Although we were approached aggressively by a group of young teen girls who were trying to scam us.  We forcibly said "NO!" and they let us alone.

We actually experienced our first scam earlier in the day.  Standing outside the Opera, fiddling with cameras, a fellow bent down and picked up a gold ring from the sidewalk.  Exclaiming his joy, he then tried the ring on and it was too small for him.  So he offered it to Steve.  Clearly, a man's ring.  Steve kept insisting this was too much and we could not accept.  But the man pressed him and he relented.  Then the fellow said we could certainly buy him a cup of coffee to show our appreciation.  So Steve gave him 5 euros and off the fellow went.  Another Parisian who witnessed this expressed concern that we had just been scammed.  We thanked him but didn't believe him.  Then I began to wonder.  And sure enough, minutes later, the same scammer showed up, waved an identical ring in our faces and smelly coyly.  He was rubbing our noses in his trick.  We just laughed. There was nothing else to do; we had been fooled for the cost of 5 euros.  5 euros for a good story.  We consider it a fair trade.  Now we are more savy.  N'est ce Pas?

Notre Dame on a rainy day

On the main, a glorious and fun day.  Viva la France.

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