A to Cray-Z 2017 –
All about the week that I nearly drove my husband crazy. In Paris.
Last October, my husband and I spent a month in France. Nine of those days we spent in Paris. We sought out a street in Paris for every letter of the alphabet, and we set foot in every arrondissement de Paris. This is not for the faint of heart. Or anyone who fears lots of walking. Or stairs. Or trop de baguettes. Or le Métro.
Ça veut dire — Do not try this at home, folks.
Alors, mes chers lecteurs…have you been to Paris? Have you walked on this street? Does this street make you dream or think of a story? Tell me in the comments!
French verb for this street: Yodler (more commonly Iodler or Jodler)
This was seriously the only “y” verb I could find anywhere, and it is an “alternate” version! I at least added another “Y” word in there 🙂
Les bergers yodlent pour leurs brebis, sans lesquelles ils ne peuvent pas avoir du yaourt.
Y is for Rue Adolphe-Yvon
Rue : Rue Adolphe-Yvon
Arrondissement : 16e
C’est où ? (where is this?)
What was it like for us?
This one was hard, and I kind of cheated. I took a picture of a bus map including this street. It’s in the 16e, and while we did actually walk down the street, I somehow neglected to take a picture of the actual street sign. I kind of like the picture anyway, because of the cool reflection of the building behind me. Also I am evoking the “Y” in the translation of the “vous êtes ici” being “You are here.” Totally cheating.
So instead of boring you with more tales of the 16e, I am going to tell you about Le Métro. In this story I am admitting to making a dumb tourist-error and being caught out at it. But because we did this, we got a couple of pictures of something rarely seen: an empty Métro car. It was kind of creepy and kind of cool.
Here’s what happened: the métro line that goes out to Porte d’Auteuil kind of dead-ends and does a sort of u-turn, but at certain times, you have to get off and change trains, or else you end up at a spot where the train doesn’t exactly go back into the city and just terminates. We took the train to the last stop and sat there thinking it was going to make a u-turn eventually. Never mind that we were the last ones (and only ones!) remaining. I took a couple photos and then finally a kind Frenchman walked over from the other platform and told us we needed to change trains. How embarassing. Anyway, here are those photos. The empty train, and as a bonus, there is a lovely poem by a young person on the sign inside the car. I love that there is poetry in the trains. It’s so…French!
And true to French form, the young man has done some playing with homophones. Oh, how the French love to play with their language!
The first and second lines of his poem sound exactly the same but mean two different things. The third line then unites the meanings of the first two. This is so clever, so French, you really need to see the poem in order to understand it. I’d say this kid has a future in poetry! I really hope he has a back-up career plan though…
Here I will attempt to do a translation, with my apologies to the author if it is a bit awkward.
L’émoi et nous nous enlaçâmes, (A flood of emotion and we tenderly embraced)
Les mois et nous nous en lassâmes, (The months passed and we became weary of embracing)
J’essuie les souvenirs qui coulent sur mes joues. (I dry the memories that run down my cheeks)
Kind of sad, isn’t it? I imagined a couple sitting on the empty train facing away from each other, each full of regrets but not talking about it. How could a 17-year-old understand this? Perhaps French 17-year olds have a deeper knowledge of this kind of thing that typical American ones do?
What’s in a name?
Adolphe Yvon was a artist who painted military and historical scenes. He traveled with the army of Napoléon III. At the end of his life, his atelier was situated on this street.
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