Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Comings and goings in France

Somehow I thought that Paris would be more... Liberating... or something. I am definitely enjoying myself, don't get me wrong, but there have been no epiphanies, no breath of fresh air as such. I guess I had expected this city to have a kind of soul. Alas, it is just a place, as any other place. A very pretty place, historic place, famous place, but just a place all the same. and I am still me, very in love with Melbourne. Weirdly enough I think actually being here has killed the love affair between myself and France.
It is glorious to just look at, but I feel as if its beauty has been eclipsed by the poor quality of many of the people who live in the city.
Yesterday as we were waiting at a pedestrian crossing we were approached by a young man on a bicycle, who began asking us for directions. We told him that we didn't speak French after which he switched to English and began telling me to leave Tori and to go with him to a cafe. After fervently declining he lent over his bike, kissed my cheek, groped my chest and sped away before I had the time to comprehend what the hell was going on.
I suppose in hindsight it is kind of humerus but at the time it was utterly mortifying... Fittingly it occurred out front of the Moulin Rouge.
In addition to him , so many of the men here stare, relentlessly, and without any shame. Then there are the hecklers, although I had expected them.
We also had a very obscure encounter with two seemingly deaf dumb people who were trying for donations. We just apologised over and over as we pushed our way past, feeling rather awful about our not being able to help out, until after twenty meters from them we turned to see and hear them talking to one another.
So, Tori and I are finding it hard to tell the good folk from the dodgy, as ostensibly they all seem rather normal.
Bad encounters aside we were assisted by this beautifully awkward young man at the supermarket. The cashier would not serve us as we had not weighed our grapes, however our lack of French left us with no clue as to why he would not serve us. Back home, they weigh fruit for you! Anyway, then the beautifully awkward chap trekked him was though the store and weighed them for us. It made my day.
The Eiffel tower wasn't too busy which was a plus, and we managed to attach ourselves to a rather sizable group of German tourists which effectively made us less auspicious to the hecklers. I'll keep reiterating this as I feel it is necessary, Paris is beautiful. When you're up high looking down on it and no one is grabbing you or trying to sell you something you can really appreciate it.
We absolutely adore our hostel! Out in the streets of Paris I never feel quite comfortable, so to have a little "home" is very refreshing.
To add to it's wonder, at the end of our street is the park with the carousel and the viewfinders from Amelie. Very happy about this.
In fact, we love Montmarte so much that we're not even venturing into Paris today.
Unfortunately everything is very expensive over here, apart from croissants which are 80c. It's a shame as I had planned on buying you all something beautiful, but I am afraid key chains will have to do. I need to eat.
Ps. Trent, there was no Royal with Cheese. There was a Royal with Bacon, but we opted for Le Big Mac and Le Big Tasty. Australia should get on to this Big Tasty. It really was big and tasty.

Pps. We both can't wait to begin touring. I don't think we're cut out to be solo travellers.

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