La vie est belle !

Quand nous étions à Paris…

Bonjour chers lecteurs ! 

To begin with, I am back. My husband and I just spent a month in France (with two amazing days in Switzerland thrown in for fun) and I suspect that I will spend the next year or so recording my thoughts and sorting through my pictures.

Last April, during the “A to Z Challenge,” I wrote about 26 things I thought I’d like to see on this trip, and after all was said and done, we saw 21 of those things. Not too shabby, I think!  So I will try to share those with you in the coming months. I’ve divided my thoughts up into a few different categories, so you will find funny stories from our trip, practical information on things we found useful or things we could have done better, a little poetry (I hope) and lots of photos!

I miss very much hearing the beautiful French language all around me since I’ve been back. I love the simple act of saying “Bonjour, madame” when entering a shop, and “bonne journée”  when leaving. I even miss explaining, time after time, that my poor husband doesn’t speak French and that’s why I am ordering all his food for him. So while I write these posts, I think I could write a little in French and a little in English. I apologize in advance for not translating all the English into French and all the French into English. I just think it might be too much for me. There’s so much to write! So if you need or want something translated in either direction, just say so in the comments and I promise I will do it, and I will do it better than Goo…  uh….that one ginormous web thingy with an auto-translator 😉

But first of all… voilà une histoire de notre voyage (here is a story from our travels):

I will begin by saying that my husband’s suitcase was lost in between Chicago and Paris. It was one of those unfortunate situations. It was a “cabin-sized” bag, and indeed, that is all we had. One cabin-sized bag each, and one satchel each. But since the airlines charge to check bags these days, the overhead storage fills up quickly and then they start “courtesy” checking the extra ones. They homed in on his bag (I think because it was red..you know how it’s always the red car that the police pull over? ) and assured us that we

Vous cherchez quelque chose?

Vous cherchez quelque chose?

could have it back at baggage claim in Atlanta. Riiiiight. I will spare you the details of how we eventually got to Paris ourselves, because it was a long and somewhat painful process. In any case, we began our first day in Paris by standing in the line for “lost luggage” at the CDG airport. Pas agréable ! I mean, the staff was friendly and as helpful as they could possibly be, but I wanted to see PARIS!!!

We obtained this nice little card so that we could “track” the bag, and hopefully come back and pick it up at some point. In the meantime, we found our way out of the baggage area so I could figure out how to buy the passes which would grant us access to the Regional trains and the Métro for the week.

France Travel Tip #1: If you are staying in Paris for a week or more, it is absolutely worth the money to buy a weekly pass called “Navigo Découverte.” Click here for the official informationAttention: this pass is good strictly from Monday to Sunday. If you try to buy it mid-week, you will find that it expires on Sunday at midnight anyway. Also, you will need a tiny picture of yourself. You can do this at the photo booths in the station, or bring your own. The lady at the guichet leant us a pair of scissors to make it the right size, which is 3cm x 2.5cm. One nice thing – if you go back to Paris later, you can keep the card and simply recharge it. If your stay begins mid-week, you may be better off with the “Paris Pass” which, while more expensive, is meant for tourists and includes some museum passes as well. It is also good for multiple days and can start any day you like.  The Navigo Découverte was perfect for us as our visit coincided directly with the days it was valid. We bought the Paris Museum Pass separately for just two days.

Navigo découverte

Navigo découverte

So we found un guichet (ticket counter) where I was able to use my French language skills (rather timidly at first) to walk away successfully with two passes. Then, I had to
figure out how to call the owner of the apartment we rented in order to tell him we were leaving the airport to meet him. I had zero luck using Euro coins in the pay telephone (still don’t know why) so I used the free wifi and Skype credit to call him.  Then, we spied on the people going to the trains to see where and how they scanned the pass we just bought!

J’ai dû m’habituer à écouter la langue française autour de moi. J’étais très contente d’être en France après avoir étudié la langue depuis trois ans. Les Français parlent très vite! Une phrase utile: “Pouvez-vous parler un peu moins vite, s’il vous plaît?” Mais franchement, une fois qu’ils ont entendu mon accent, ils ont parlé anglais. 

Et voilà – ma première impression de la France, dans le train entre l’aéroport et la belle ville de Paris :

Mon mari à la Gare du Nord, Paris

Mon mari à la Gare du Nord, Paris

Sur la photo, c’est mon mari. Faites attention à ses vêtements. Ce sont tout ce qu’il avait à porter pendant 4 jours ! Sauf…hmmm, c’est une autre histoire ! Donc, c’est une introduction de nos aventures en France!

 

Prochainement, l’histoire suivant…

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12 Responses to “Quand nous étions à Paris…”

  1. Le génie

    Bon le scénario de la 1ère hisoire ne commence pas forcément très bien… Cela crée une tension qui intrigue le lecteur > mais que va-t-il encore se passer ?
    Bien sûr c’est ton mari qui “fait les frais” de cette erreur, Un héros malheureux en somme…
    > Faites attention à ses…
    > C’est tout ce qu’il avait à porter pendant quatre jours (porter des vêtements = être habillé)

    peux-tu me dire en français le passage des pièces de monnaie et du téléphone car je ne comprends pas tout à fait le sens de ce que tu veux dire. Si je comprends mieux, je pourrais t’expliquer ce que tu n’as pas compris…

    J’attends la suite de vos aventures à Franceland :=)

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  2. Sammy D.

    Oh tant pis about hubby’s clothes and the time to sort that out. Sounds like some travel snafus on the way over, too. Those are the things that are gnarly at the time but make great (embellished) stories later.

    I grinned that they wanted to speak English when they heard you speak French. And that they speak tres vite! So do Spanish speakers 🙂 I often wonder how “vite” we must sound to foreigners visiting the US. I’m sure, with your charm and persistence, you convinced “all of France” to succumb to your dream of speaking their Mother tongue.

    Looking forward to more!

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    • jetgirlcos

      Yes, the “snafus” were gnarly at the time but it’s a good story now. I say that because it wasn’t my bag that was lost! 😉

      I’m not sure about the “charm” thing but I was definitely persistent and that earned me some points, I think 🙂

      Thanks for reading along!

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  3. jetgirlcos

    Merci de me corriger, G. Avec le téléphone, il y a une place où on peut mettre de la monnaie, mais elles n’étaient pas accepter (la monnaie étaient retourner immédiatement ). Je n’ai pas vu une place pour une carte bancaire, donc…? C’était mieux avec Skype en tout cas et quand nous sommes arrivés à Paris, j’ai acheté un téléphone portable “orange” que j’ai pu recharger avec des “mobicartes”. Quand j’irai en France la prochaine fois, j’ai déjà un téléphone 🙂

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  4. F.G.M.

    I LOVE you new gravatar 😉 they are better and better 😉 😉 merci pour ce joli récit – j’ai hâte de lire la suite 🙂 tc&l

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  5. Le Génie

    Oui, il me semble mieux comprendre maintenant…
    Tu dois savoir que les téléphones à pièces n’existent presque plus car ils étaient souvent vandalisés. Donc, ils n’étaient plus réparés et c’est peut-être pourquoi ce téléphone te redonnait la monnaie.
    Tu as été bien avisée d’acheter un téléphone orange et des recharges “mobicartes”.
    Une troisième solution est aussi possible en achetant dans un bureau de tabac une carte téléphone qui sert aux téléphones à carte qui sont surtout la norme actuelle. Les téléphones à cartes bancaires ne sont pas aussi nombreux que ça !

    [Sur le téléphone, il y a un endroit où l’on peut mettre de la monnaie/des pièces, mais elles n’étaient pas accepté (la monnaie retombait immédiatement ). Je n’ai pas vu un emplacement pour une carte bancaire, donc…? C’était mieux avec Skype en tout cas et quand nous sommes arrivés à Paris, j’ai acheté un téléphone portable “orange” que j’ai pu recharger avec des “mobicartes”. Quand j’irai en France la prochaine fois, j’aurai déjà un téléphone 🙂 ]

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  6. Celine Jeanjean

    A very belated welcome home after your travels! 🙂 Hope you had an awesome time, it definitely sounds like you did.
    That’s such a good idea to follow the A to Z theme again to cover all the things you did end up seeing by the way, I’m looking forward to reading about it all. And pretty amazing that you managed to tick off so many too!

    Shame about your husband’s bag though, always such a pain when a holiday starts with that kind of problem. Hope you managed to get it back without too much trouble!

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