It's another Sunday, so things are VERY quiet around the neighborhood. I am avoiding the monuments and museums today because the first Sunday of every month they are all free and the crowds are nuts. France has been harder than I thought it would be. The language barrier really makes it tough; not so much for basics, like getting around and eating, etc. but for trying to meet local people and carry on a conversation. Unless their English is fluent, conversations quickly become awkward and clumsy.
It has been a good time in Paris, I was supposed to leave again yesterday, but now I am going to stay until Tuesday. I love the city, and I have needed the extra time to make up for the communication gap. I am headed Tuesday directly for Madrid. I was supposed to go to St Emilion in Bordeaux first, but the tour I was going to take of Grand Cru wine makers was cancelled. So instead of wandering around St Emilion I've decided to go straight to Spain.
I think Spain may be easier, just because my ear is more used to Spanish. And while I'm not even close to fluent in Spanish, my broken Spanish is better, I will understand more and I am fluent in Spanish food.
A lot of cool things have happened in the past week:
Running into the Tour de France winner! I mean come on. I couldn't have planned that if I tried.
Also, a few days ago I was at a cafe drinking champagne and I wanted a photo of 'me sitting in a cafe in Paris drinking champagne' but I was too embarrassed to try to ask the server to take the photo and explain that I wanted to get the whole cafe in the shot, etc . . .but there was a woman sitting a few tables away and as she was paying her check I could tell she was American, so while the waiter was getting her change I asked her to take the photo. She did. I asked where she was visiting from. She said SCOTTSDALE AZ!! I thought it was a joke, but she owns a boutique in Gainey Village shops. How weird is that and this was in a really touristy area, literally thousands of people walking around and I sit next to the lady from Scottsdale.
Meeting the Americans ladies Gwendolyn, Fawn and Amy definitely added some unexpected fun to the stay. I got to go to the Jazz club, the festival on the Seine and the Mosque to visit the tea room. Those are things I would not have sought out on my own. I am still trying to get into the Louvre. I will do it tomorrow. I just have to get over the idea that there is going to be a 'better time' to avoid the crowds.
That's all for now