It’s already been 6 days and I feel like it’s been 6 months. It is truly exhausting recreating your life in a new country when you do not speak the language. Fortunately, Maxime translates. Just picture us at an appliance store and I am asking Maxime to translate my questions of the differences between 2 vacuums then wait for the answer and translate back. This happens all day long with everything from face cream to cell phones to hair dryers.
Some things I’ve notices so far:
1. The French know how to wait patiently. Whether at the mattress or cell phone store, people patiently waited their turn (just like the WSJ article mentioned about “educating’ their children to be patient. Not only that, but each sales person we’ve had as give us their full attention but only after we asked for it. We have not been pounced on by anyone yet each sales person young and old is extremely knowledgable about the product they are selling.
2. Scarves: they are everywhere. Men, women, children, babies….As some of you known I love scarves and I am awe struck by the numbers of different patterns, colors, styles and wrapping techniques that cover this city.
3. Bread, cheese and butter: I had a sandwich today that Maxime made and I took a bite mid-way through that was part chewy crunch bread, smooth butter and nutty cheese. It was heaven.
4. Don’t ride the metro at 5:30 if possible and it’s okay to look at your metro map.
5. Get a Paris Pratique. It will save you figuring out where in this winding city you are.