Thursday, January 14, 2016


 We toured Paris on a Sunday.  I was so looking forward to using my 5 years of French.  While waiting for our bus, a French man approached me.  He started speaking very fast in French.  I couldn't understand a word he said.  I knew he was asking for directions, but that was about it.  I had to tell him that I didn't know, because I was an American.  My ego was deflated.  I found out later that they teach French spoken on the Riviera in American schools.  Parisian French is different.  Oh well.
 Our first stop was the Louvre.  Beautiful artwork.  We also went to the Modern Art museum.  The group thought that I could interpret the paintings, especially of Picasso.  I just made up meanings, and everybody said they could see the meanings I was saying.  Weird.
 While we were at the modern art museum, there was a guy on roller skates and an umbrella doing his art.  People were giving him money for opening and closing the umbrella.  I guess art is in the eye of the beholder. 
 We didn't get to go to the Eiffel Tower, but we did see it from an overlook.  The girls had their pictures taken on the ledge.  It was the same spot that Hitler had viewed the tower some 30 years before.  We did go to the Arc de Triumphe.  The cars were whizzing by and there were no traffic lights.  I almost got killed twice to get the pictures I wanted.  But, I got them. 
 That night, the girls went to bed, so I walked over to the park that I had been to the night before.  It was cold and misty.  As I was sitting by the fountain, I saw a man approach me.  I got up and started to walk away.  He continued to follow me.  I figured that he was probably out to rob me, so I proceeded to walk a little faster.  He did too.  By this time, I was getting toward a street.  There were a few cars going by, so I ran in between two cars to try and shake him.  He followed me through the traffic.  I found a street more heavily traveled.  I ran between more cars, and he stopped chasing me.  I doubled back to the hotel to make sure I had lost him.  Maybe he was friends with Sam, Omar and Sam from Jerusalem.  I don't know.  But, I thought that folks only got mugged in New York, not Paris.  I am glad I didn't become a statistic.  I am also glad I didn't have to explain it to a policeman, as he wouldn't be able to understand my French, and I wouldn't be able to understand him.
 After I got back to the hotel, the girls wanted to go for ice cream at a restaurant nearby.  The waitress was rude to us.  After all, we were Americans. 

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