La vie est belle !

W is for ….Where’s the W ?


My theme – “26 Things I’d Like To See During Our Trip To France”


 W is for “Where’s the W ? ” 

What is this? Qu’est-ce que c’est ?

Week 41: "W"

“W” by Greg Williams is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ok. Here’s the thing: “W” isn’t really a French letter, and therefore all “French” words beginning with it are borrowed from other languages. Like “Wagon“, borrowed from German and therefore pronounced like “Vagon.” I suppose that we might experience “un Wagon-lit” (sleeper car) or “un Wagon-restaurant” (dining car)  when we do our train travel…

But back to this “A to Z” challenge, I thought and I thought about “W” but it wasn’t enough to make me change my theme because I have managed to compile a great list of French stuff during this month! So I kept the theme and decided to Wing it with W. I thought of le Wifi or le W-C (both borrowed from English)…

I also thought of French words with a sort of  /w/ sound, like “Oui!” (Which is one of the few French words that my husband knows) or “Ouest”, but since we will not be visiting the Western part of France on this trip, that last one really won’t work.

Where is it? Où est-ce?


Image courtesy of Master isolated images /

Image courtesy of Master isolated images /


So…what have I decided to do with this silly “W” ? Well, for starters, I am just highlighting all the “W”‘s in my post 🙂

In addition to this, I have also decided to talk about “le wifi” for just a moment. I have read that it is becoming a bit more common to find wi-fi in France. I know, for example, that the apartment I have rented in Paris for our first week, has it. I intend to take my tablet with me, and I expect that I will connect for purposes of keeping in touch with the parental units, or looking up stuff like museum hours, directions, etc. There are some great apps out there for things like cartes du Métro (maps of the metro)  and maps of Paris, and things like that. I’ll be using those. I also wonder if a translation app would help my dear husband, who will be relying heavily on my intermediate-level French during this trip, poor fellow.

In any case, I hope to severely limit what I do online during this trip because I don’t want to “surf” my way through France, I want to experience it. I am going to take a pen and some notebooks for recording my thoughts, and my husband will be taking tons of photos to visually document the trip.  After the trip, I will refine, re-write, and record those things here on my blog, for you, mes chers lecteurs 🙂

Then there is the W-C., (water closet) les toilettes, le petit coin…you get the idea. I have read many a horror story online and in books about the serious lack (at least by American standards) of public toilets in Paris. I don’t know about the rest of the country. My husband asked, “So…what, do the French just walk around dehydrated all the time?” Hmmm…I really don’t know the answer! I have to admit that during my 10-hour sojourn into Paris last year, I did not see a lot of W-C’s, but in all fairness, we didn’t really go inside too many places. The restaurant where we ate dinner had one, not too difficult to find. But other than that, I am not sure. So yes, I practice “selective dehydration.” It’s not too big a deal for me because I do this at work all the time in order to avoid the dreaded “walk of shame”, aka, having to leave the flight deck during flight to go to the W-C. It’s sort of a big deal in a small jet, and besides that, it’s just…unsavory, to say the least. Enough about the W-C.

Why do I want to go there? Pourquoi est-ce que je veux y aller ?

I got the idea from another awesome A-to-Z-er, to try and photograph a creative example of each letter during our trip. Luckily, the shape of the letter “W” isn’t too hard to find “in the wild.”  In any case, I guess I will just wait and see !

And you, dear A to Z-ers?  Et vous ?

Do you try to stay away from le Wifi  when you are on vacation? Have you ever used a translation app? Which one? What is your opinion of these? Do you have any Parisian W-C  horror stories? Dites-moi ! 

9 Responses to “W is for ….Where’s the W ?”


    Wow, What a post – Who knew W was such a prolific and Way out little guy!
    I recently posted on a particular Wheel barrow (I’m ashamed to say I first spelled it Wheel barrel – until I saw the error of my Ways)
    Wonderful 🙂


    • jetgirlcos

      Thanks for writing a wonderful comment! I was wondering, after wandering by your blog, why he was wheeling the weights? My husband has a wheel barrow but usually he wheels weeds that he has pulled from the yard out to the trash with his… 🙂


  2. theopposablecat

    As for W-Cs…I remember being in Paris at about 11 at night, and one of the public W-C doors refused to shut – and the most incredible woman I’ve ever met just held it shut while people went with the amazing line – ‘I gotta go, so we’re making this work!’.


    • jetgirlcos

      Hmmm…great story about a nice person! Better to have the door refuse to shut rather than having it refuse to open back up again I think… (yikes)


  3. Celine Jeanjean

    I had no idea that W wasn’t really a french letter, but it makes perfect sense as it’s mostly pronounced like a V – you’re right! And it makes sense that those words came from German – that’s so interesting! I love that you’re teaching me things about my own language 😉

    The toilet thing is really funny, I’ve never thought of this before. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I was dehydrated or been in a struggle for loos when in France. But then again I don’t know much about the US, having only been to NYC twice, so I can’t compare how your toilet situation is over there 😉 When I next go I shall keep an eye out!

    And thank you very much for the shoutout on the photographic alphabet! A French alphabet of your trip around France will look amazing I’m sure! I can’t wait to see it.


    • jetgirlcos

      Oh, I would never have thought about the “X” thing if it weren’t for A to Z! I love interesting facts like that 🙂

      As for the photographic alphabet, I’m really looking forward to that challenge! Thank you so much for the idea and for sharing your own amazing photos; I think everyone should go see them! So fun 🙂


  4. Archana (@yenforblue)

    Wow! (thats two w’s) Such an interesting way to use “W”. I have started using WiFi only recently during my travels and mostly the experience was fairly good.



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