Have you ever been to Paris?
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30-03-2015, 08:38 PM
RE: Have you ever been to Paris?
(30-03-2015 08:29 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Yup. I dossed there for a while.

Climbed the tower... walked up the stairs and down to help combat my fear of heights.

It is incredibly windy up there.

My brother who was 10 at the time spat down the tower. My mom was about to tell him off, when the blob of spit, that had only fallen 3-5 meters, was carried up again by the wind, it briefly hoverd in the air and then slapped back into his face.

A glorious moment in human history.

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30-03-2015, 08:40 PM
RE: Have you ever been to Paris?
(30-03-2015 08:06 PM)ELK12695 Wrote:  Only one tip. Never speak English to a French person who lives in Paris; they'll give you a look of utter hatred and mumble to themselves afterwards "When in Rome(Paris) do as the Romans (Frenchmen) do".

I dont have that problem.

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30-03-2015, 09:04 PM
RE: Have you ever been to Paris?
Been to Paris several times, enjoyed myself immensely. Been to the top of the Eiffel, liked the private room Eiffel had for himself up there. I hear some woman likes the tower so much she officially married it Blink

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30-03-2015, 09:05 PM
Have you ever been to Paris?
I have been there twice. The last time was last year when I went on a very lavish weeklong vacation there. [Image: 592eecdd12f5c9ca5a2334d19cca06d2.jpg]

Years ago the French were rude. Now that their economy is so dependent on tourism they act quite polite.
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31-03-2015, 12:49 AM
RE: Have you ever been to Paris?
I was in France in 2005 to ride bicycles and watch the closing stage of the Tour. We stayed a week in Avignon riding and climbing Mt. Ventoux, then went to Paris for the Tour. At the Eiffel Tower we took the stairs to as high as you could go up the tower, the second tier. Going down I kept thinking of the mad chase down in "The Lavender Hill Mob". Dizzying in real life too.

I had a free day before the tour in Paris so I took advantage of the extra time and left Paris, went to Chartres to see the cathedral. Humanity has lost a great deal over the centuries nurturing our fondness for the dollar; nothing like that cathedral could ever be built today. Too expensive. I spent the entire day roaming its high stonework, and there were no chained off heights, so got to the top of both its towers.

I was impressed by a few things in France. The Metro is the most brilliant public transport system built. The most illiterate moron would be able to use the Metro effortlessly, which was me in France, not knowing a syllable of the language.

The paved roads in France are impeccable smooth macadam, almost as if wet sanded smooth with 600 grit paper. Excellent for cycling, but also easy on auto suspensions. French rails and roads are the standard the rest of the world should apply. Did I mention how quiet the TGVs are? I stood on the platform a yard away from the edge as a TGV whooshed through at cruise speed, the only sound the slipstream. Amazing.

The other thing that impressed me was the complete absence of the fabled rudeness. Everywhere we went people went out of their way to be helpful, especially when they could see my helplessness with the language. I don't know where the rudeness stereotype came from, but there was no evidence of it at all. That was 2005. Perhaps it's different now.
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31-03-2015, 01:18 AM (This post was last modified: 31-03-2015 01:50 AM by Alex K.)
RE: Have you ever been to Paris?
Concerning the rudeness, I've noticed first hand how it works: sitting in a nice restaurant not too far from the louvre with wife, and at the same time at the table next to us, an american couple sat down. They ordered in english, cut everything in little pieces, ate quickly, left half of it on the plate, paid and left. During that time relations between the waiting staff and them were... Cool. I remember enough french from school to carry on basic conversation, so I ordered inprimitive french, we sat there, had two courses and a nice bottle, an you could literally watch the ice melt in the waiter over the course of half an hour. We went through three American couples on the next table that night and the waiting staff became our best friends.

Second data point: I've been to Venice a few times, and last year decided to speak English to everyone in case I didn't know the relevant word in Italian. I can safely say that I have never been treated with such blatant contempt and disgust as on that trip, it was almost hilarious.

I've been to Prague half a dozen times, and once travelled "undercover" with a group of American friends. Again, treated like shit, one guy even tried to threaten us into buying schnaps. I had never experienced anything like it travelling as a German, which is strange since it was my granddad who was there when they were shooting their old town to hell at the end of the war, not the american's... I don't quite know what it is with american tourists Tongue

(30-03-2015 08:35 PM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  
(30-03-2015 06:33 PM)Alex K Wrote:  It's just a relatively convenient train ride from here, so yup.

What happened in the 1990s that killed the flair in your opinion?

Almoust every city goes through the same endless social circle.

Once it has cultural flair - people move into it.

Through that prices and living costs rise.

Through that the city becomes less attractive and people leave.

As a consequence of that living costs sink and crime rises.

And because of that young people, culture and a exciting atmosphere return.


Cities like New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles and Moscow are currently at the ass end of that circle where living costs rise and people are about to leave leave.

Manchester, Prag, St Petersburg, Athens, Barcelona and Boston are currently on the other end of that circle or drifting into it.

I read extensively about this in a study a while ago. Interestingly enought through some weird coincidences Berlin has been imune to this and has kept it`s unique flair for more than 50 years.

Very fascinating idea. Though Berlin is struggling with rising rents and loss of affordable housing, too, as you know. Let's hope it wasn't party king Wowi who kept the flair going Big Grin

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31-03-2015, 06:07 AM (This post was last modified: 31-03-2015 06:21 AM by Drunkin Druid.)
RE: Have you ever been to Paris?
Was there in 2012. I loved it.
And the people were not unfriendly as some have suggested. Perhaps you just spoke English without attempting to speak French.
"Bonjour. Parlez vous anglais" goes a long way..
Not to say that some people weren't rude' but you'll find that anywhere.
I was in a cab when the driver asked me if I was an American. "No, I'm Canadian" I said
He replied "same thing isn't it?"
I chuckled and asked him if he was German. He got offended and said "no I am French"
I said "same thing isn't it?"
It was a quite ride from then on. Smile
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31-03-2015, 06:32 AM
RE: Have you ever been to Paris?
I flew from Japan to help with the installation of a system at DGSE about 15 years ago. For that I was in Paris for less than a day and didn't even get a chance to go to a restaurant or something. So technically I've been there, but I didn't exactly get the full tourist experience.

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31-03-2015, 08:22 AM
RE: Have you ever been to Paris?
I was a teenager then, and I could hold my own in french. The men were all very solicitous (and felt slimy to me) and the women were rude. And I am a German expat. I was still living in Germany then, so no ugly American.

The unfriendliness was all based on gender and sex.

Remember, this was in the late 60s, and a very subjective experience.

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31-03-2015, 08:57 AM
RE: Have you ever been to Paris?
I've been there twice. It was awesome. I want to go again.

I've also been to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Not sure if the view was worth the wait. Interesting nevertheless.

(30-03-2015 08:06 PM)ELK12695 Wrote:  Only one tip. Never speak English to a French person who lives in Paris; they'll give you a look of utter hatred and mumble to themselves afterwards "When in Rome(Paris) do as the Romans (Frenchmen) do".

Either that, or they make fun of you later in their language. It's incredible how they refuse to even utter a single word in English.

I remember we missed a train and the station was closing, so we had to find a taxi. I went to the only person who seemed to still be in the station and asked in English where I could find a taxi (even though I did speak some French, but I didn't feel comfortable using it). He looked down and told me in French that he didn't understand. Then I was like "taxi??" and he nodded like "no, I don't know".
I managed to ask the same question in French, and he was suddenly glad to give me every detail.
It's funny, because the word "taxi" is the same in French Facepalm

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