New Perspective

My friends’ visit.  Seeing Paris through the eyes of a 5 year old is challenging.  It requires you to start noticing every carousel.  Every bounce house or trampoline.  Anything that looks like a kids’ playground.

Certainly things I had not noticed before.   And the one experience I had that seemed perfect for a kid – France Miniature – ended up a sight unseen.  Maybe next time.  I am impressed with the parenting skills.  I remember my mom and dad just taking me on the tours at age 9.  I had 4 years on this little miss.  But this mom started the tours of the Louvre and the d’Orsay by going to the bookstore and letting her pick 3 postcards of art work that she wanted to see in person.  And then it became a bit of a treasure hunt.  Imagine, picking the Venus de Milo or the Winged Victory at 5?  And at the d’Orsay, she picked two Van Goghs – The Room and Starry Night.  Of course, Starry Night is still in Russia. (I do hope it comes back!)

A very precocious young lady.  I can’t wait to meet up with her again.

Of course, it was a blast to see her mom, a friend.  We found time for a few brief chats.  I recall how one of my close friends, mother to two children, has told me that our friendship stayed alive because I kept in contact with her as her kids grew up.  In Paris, with my mom friend, even short conversations were interrupted with the mom duties.  But precious time indeed.

With my friend, husband, daughter and mother, we went to the Jules Verne restaurant at the Eiffel Tower.  It’s the famous 5 star Alan Ducasse restaurant.   As close friends know well and as I have said before, I am not a chef.  Nor a gourmet.  The food was beautifully presented.  The ambiance – besides the incredible view – was marvelous – quiet, refined.  And there were interesting flavors and some real hits.  I’d go back again for the ambiance and experience, but maybe not the food.   Oh Sacre Bleu!  Is that sacrilegious??? But it’s a memory I shall cherish.  Thanks my friend and reader!

My friend had a slight illness and we were searching for cranberry juice and other liquids for her.  She expected to pick up some at Monoprix about 6 on Sunday night.  I smiled – oh how I have become a native.  Nothing is open on Sunday afternoon.  Especially in August!  But now I know the secret places – like Galleries Gourmand at the Porte Maillot Palais de Congress center.  She Uberred over and I helped her shop.

The family headed home last Wednesday.  I will miss them.  But then, more time for French!

French Mid terms

Well, not really.  But from time to time you do want to check in and see if there is language improvement.  I am so fortunate with my CE friends.  Oscar is a professor of history at a law school.  Everyone is just so interesting.  And in a texting exchange where I was apologizing for my French, he said:  “I would not stay in CE with you if your level of French was so weak.  You possess a very large vocabulary and a good understanding of French wines.  So that means you are French.  And in addition, you like cheeses that I don’t like.  You are more French than me!”  Woo Hoo Moi!

Add that to Albert’s comment about my future in French… very nice day indeed.

Did I tell you that two French folk did not know what a Gaelic shrug was?  I was almost embarrassed at first – thinking I was using a bad stereotype – til an online search revealed the fact that the French have used it themselves to draw British tourist.

“To draw the Brits back to the French capital, the Paris region launched a massive communications campaign, based on a Web site called C’est so Paris, which makes fun of French gestures and attitudes. …  Here are the instructions: “1. Stick out your lower lip. 2. Raise your eyebrows and shoulders simultaneously.”  The Gallic shrug may be accompanied with a vocal “Bof,” says the Web site.”  from ABC

They laughed.

And I finished a French novel!!!2015-08-11 22.40.03