I’ve visited Paris on three occasions.
I first visited Paris with my mother in the spring of 1983. She met me in Madrid after I had been living in Spain for some time as an art student. She offered to take me to Paris and also Amsterdam, and, being 23 years old and with no solid plans or commitments (not to mention money) I agreed.
In Paris we had a very amusing time, heightened by the fact that she recalled none of her high school French, and my only foreign tongue was Spanish. Parisians of that time tended to withhold the fact that they spoke English if they did, so we were frequently speechless as well as clueless.
We had a good time anyway, visiting the Louvre, going to a concert on the spur of the moment, having a lovely meal at the home of a French designer friend. I met some lovely people on that trip whom I’ve never seen again.
It would be another 25 years when I would return to Paris, this time to work on a French pseudo-documentary about George W. Bush, where I performed the voice of “W”. I didn’t have a wonderful time this time, since I was in a sound studio for most of the three or so days I was in the city.
Every day when I would be released from recording, I walked for miles by the Seine, observing the magnificent decorated bridges and admiring the Parisians, who all seemed to have a cigarette in one hand and the end of a dog leash in the other.
Now I am in Paris again, 11 years later, this time with my wife and daughter. Despite consulting YouTube, I still speak only a few French words and phrases, (to which my Gallic friends generally respond “What?”) and I don’t know my arrondissement from my elbow, but I’m having the best time ever.
Being with Tamra and Taylor is a big reason why.
The weather has been very kind to us, and the many people we’ve come in contact with have been even kinder.
We came to Paris to help out with some events at the French chapter of our church, and so far everyone we’ve met has been very friendly and not at all the stereotypical French “snob”. (I’m sure they still exist somewhere, but I haven’t seen them.)
Our trip is only halfway done, and I will have much more to report when we return, but it is interesting to return again, after so long, to this extraordinary city, and to experience this unique culture with all it’s charming peculiarities.
To be continued…