Parlez-vous Français?

Champs D'élysé and Arc de Triomphe

Who could ask for a more beautiful city than Paris? Definitely not us when we spent the weekend there before heading to Strasbourg for school. What we could have asked for was a more simple trek to get there.

My dorm Børglum was having one of its biggest parties of the year. I had heard a lot about how good these huge parties are, held in the old bomb shelter under the main building built during the war.

While everyone around us was pre-drinking and getting costumes together, Caroline and I could be seen walking through the grounds with our backpacks strapped to us, ready for a night filled with sitting around airports and going through security. Woohoo.

Two bus rides later we made it to the Billund airport (about two hours out of Århus) ready to fly there via Amsterdam. It was a half hour stop over and no we did not smoke weed. When we arrived in Paris, we were exhausted.

Caroline and a baguette. Standard.

But we were in PARIS!

Our hostel was in a great location in the Latin Quarter. The five of us shared in a six man dorm. Number six, or “Giacomo” as we like to call him (or any generic Latin male name we thought of at the time) was not as excited to meet us as we were him. That night when we returned from doing fun French things, he was already in bed. He greeted our enthusiastic welcomes with simple one word answers. The next morning he could not have left the room more discreetly. He is now my base for the definition of the term “low key”.  Giacomo, if you’re reading this, please come back into our lives some day.

The first thing that we did in Paris was take in the sun and (relative) warm weather. Coming from freezing cold Denmark, the beautiful 12 degree weather of France was heaven.

The set of the Da Vinci Code, aka the Louvre

Walking around Paris was great. We “stumbled upon” the Pantheon (I didn’t even know Paris had one), Notre Dame, and the Louvre.

While we ate our baguettes in a park we were able to see the Louvre in one direction, the Champs D’élysé and the Arc de Triomphe in another, as well as the Eiffel Tower in the distance. We felt so freaking French.

Waiter, one plate of snails, please.

That night we ate at a legit French restaurant and had ourself a nice plate of snails, aka escargot. Surprisingly they were not at all bad, despite the texture. They just tasted like garlic.

Later that night we decided we would jump up the Eiffel Tower and gaze over Paris at night. As we started walking, we realised that we didn’t really know how to get there. When we made it to the right train, it for some reason stopped abruptly before we arrived at the right station. Annoying. Stupid French.

Not discouraged, we decided to run in what we thought was the right direction to make it in time before it closed for the night.

Kicking it on the tower

The stereotype of rude French people was confirmed while on this mission. When I stopped and asked a French lady in English which direction the “Eiffel Tower” was, she told me she didn’t know what I was talking about. What a bitch.

Another lady laughed rudely and thought I was joking and taking the piss, as we knew we were very close. Eventually we made it and, out of breath, took the elevator up and stood in the cold, overlooking the city of love. It was pretty sweet.

How many references to the Eiffel Tower can I make in this post?

Paris, you delivered. I’ll be seeing you again soon.

In the next edition: Follow Damien couch-surfing in Denmark.

If you lived in Paris, wouldn't you be dancing in the streets on a Sunday morning?

Our hostel.

What is this again?


About damiencurrie

21. Melbourne. Journalist.
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2 Responses to Parlez-vous Français?

  1. Terry says:

    Very true about the stereotype, Damo. Well, did you manage to catch a glimpse if they never shaved their armpits, too? *laughs* But back to the topic, when my friend was in Paris, nobody gave a monkey about her when she asked for directions in English. However, the alignment of the stars changed when her boyfriend, who spoke a little bit of French, asked. They became awfully (and awkwardly) helpful…

    Well, thanks for the pointers. Now I’ll travel to Paris and be prepared to rely on a map instead of the people there.

  2. Helen says:

    Hi Damo,
    Nanna Currie (aka Mum) sent me your blog, so I have just spent the last 30 minutes reading it all. It is fabulous. When you were in the pantheon in Paris, did you check out the big hole in the roof. It doesn’t even let rain in.
    Denmark sounds amazing, but a bit cool after summer in Australia.
    Happy Easter kiddo.

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