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Author Topic: So, Paris, then
Purves Grundy
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  • It's fucking lovely
  • It's fucking murder walking round if you're pushing a buggy
  • It's fucking mass-murder trying to use the metro if you're pushing a buggy
  • If you're wheelchair-bound it must be intolerable. Basically the place is a fucking disgrace where disabled rights are concerned.
  • Root vegetables and winter greens play no part in their diet. I'm potato-and-dairy-foodstuffsed-out
  • New Year's Eve was pathetic - midnight at Place de le Concorde with a view of av des Champs-Elysees and the Eiffel Tower? Piss-all, fireworks-wise
  • Paris's reputation for surly rudeness is undeserved, with the exception of the bastard employees on the criminally understaffed Metro
  • However understaffed the metro may be there's no excuse for the disgraceful indolence of the staff. They're lazier than nurses (oh, stop moaning, yes it's a shit job, but how often do you ever see a nurse ever actually doing anythiong more arduous than flicking through Heat?)
  • The reputation for rudeness may be exaggerated, but the reputation for overcharging and padding bills is not
  • Everyone moans about the dogshit but it's only a problem in Montmartre and it serves everyone in Montmartre right. Tourists, residents and dogs. Imagine walking round all that shit with a sense of smell ten thousand times more effective than the one you have.
  • The homelessness problem is a real disgrace. It's like London about 20 years ago. I've never before seen a Hooverville soup kitchen in the centre of a major city before
  • I thought wine was supposed to be cheap in France
  • The windows at Les Galleries Lafayette at Christmastime are brilliant
  • Inside Les Galleries Lafayette is hell on earth
  • French TV is diabolical. Why is it only the Americans and British who take TV seriously as an art form?
  • By god the women you see walking about Paris are good looking
  • And well-dressed
  • The ban on smoking in public places came in while we were there and was adherred to everywhere I saw without a ripple of dissent
  • Parisian drivers are scum
  • Queues
  • Everywhere
  • The ceaseless beauty of architecture is overwhelming. One comes away from Paris without having taken any photos because when everything is photogenic there's no point taking photos
  • In a branch of monoprix I saw a man catch sight of his reflection in a full-length mirror and stop to squeeze a spot
  • They still have C&A
  • Gitanes are disgusting; like the first cigarette you ever smoked.
  • Paris - bins emptied daily; London - bins emptied fortnightly: discuss
  • And even so I saw about 6 rats whereas I've never seen even one in London
  • Every time I go there I keep getting stopped and asked for directions - I must look French or something. Or maybe I just walk around with a certain je ne sais quoi. What's French for savoire-faire?
  • It's fucking lovely


[ 04.01.2008, 23:11: Message edited by: Purves Grundy ]

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twohundredpercent
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France is great, isn't it? The one thing that I've never quite been able to get the hang of in any respect in so far as being English is concerned is this "hating the French" thing. I adore the place and the people and always have done. I could spend a whole holiday just going to a different French supermarket all day, or just wandering around shops looking at "French things".

I don't know where to start on your list, apart from to say that there are considerably lovelier places in France than Paris. Funnily enough, I still think that London is one of the most amazing cities on earth. Ah, and I saw dozens of rats in London (especially on the tube). Anyway, I'm glad you had a great time.

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TonTon
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I haven't been for AGES, but have loved it every time I've been. And the rest of France too. I love it, just love it.
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Just Say No To Vorderman
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do you know that the french find english trying to speak french sexy in the same way we find them speaking english rather titillating :-)


or so i'm told

i certainly found them very receptive to my feeble attempts at their language

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Purves Grundy
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I forgot to mention the other thing which is just how quickly I always feel at home in Paris. I mean, there's tons of other places where I go and feel "wow! this is great. I love it here and hey! Look at me! I'm going to the shops. Like I live here or something. I'm a modern kind of guy; a citizen of the world."

In Paris, it's just sort of "right, I'm off to the shops now", just like being in London or something, except that being just off to the shops now feels great.

[ 04.01.2008, 23:26: Message edited by: Purves Grundy ]

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Purves Grundy
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One thing I do want to do is work on my French so that it's at the level where I can read a tourist guide to London aimed at the French market, so I can get an idea of what they think of London and through having an understanding of what they're describing perhaps get a slightly better understanding of what the French are like.
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twohundredpercent
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I spent about 6 years persuading my partner that we should go to France, and I don't know why she was so resistant to it. We finally went in September, and more or less everyone that we spoke to was impressively polite (much more so than I'd expect in this country - indeed, I think that this thing about the French being rude and arrogant is one of these baseless rumours that come about for reasons that I don't fully understanding) and we had a brilliant time - it wiped away about 25 years' worth of her dusty prejudice cobwebs in a week.

I don't know about how much truth there is in what you're saying there, JSTN. I've certainly noticed French girls being more coquettish than I'd expect otherwise, though they may have just been paying closer attention to what I was saying because, well, they needed to be paying close attention. I'd be quite pleased if the rumour took hold, though, because it would at least persuade more young English people to learn a foreign language.

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twohundredpercent
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PS: I don't know how advanced your French is, PG, but learning tenses is always a good thing, and I thoroughly recommend this book. It got me through me French 'O' Level and 'A' Level.
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Croute au fromage et oeuf au plat
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The link below is from the "Guide du Routard", a French Rough Guide still aimed at skint travellers but also covering what your typical Liberation (Guardian) reader likes. It says that some might imagine London to be stuck up but in fact it make Paris looks like a provincial town. Strong emphasis on its "global city" role. A moan about the prices and a revealing line, about London being half-way between Europe and New-York.

Routard

Edit: A English girl speaking French with her accent will have us French speaking males all flushed...

[ 04.01.2008, 23:43: Message edited by: Croute au fromage et oeuf au plat ]

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Purves Grundy
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Thanks, chaps.

My French is at the "competent holidaymaker" level, 200%. I was good at it but had to drop it after age 16 because of a timetable clash. I could certainly hold down a job as a streetsweeper and avoid starvation or loneliness. Just don't ask me to take over BNP Paribas or anything.

And M-M: I think I've told you enough times that I'm not a Guardian reader for you to give that one a break, eh?

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King o' the Rye
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I really like France. C'est tres belle! My favourite part is Brittany but I also like Paris, the city of romance.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes/No

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Croute au fromage et oeuf au plat
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quote:
And M-M: I think I've told you enough times that I'm not a Guardian reader for you to give that one a break, eh?
Yeah, I know. At what point in my post do I imply that you are one?
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Purves Grundy
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quote:
Funnily enough, I still think that London is one of the most amazing cities on earth.
Travel certainly broadens the mind. And one of the things that my travels hav etaught me is that, yes, london really is one of the best cities on Earth. I love going to new places, learning new languages and learning how to cope with the peculiarities of the places I go. And one of the really significant lessons one can learn from travel is "yes, it's all right here - but London is better. I really ought to stop whining quite so much when I am fortunate enough to live in a city that is both great and excellent".
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Purves Grundy
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quote:
Yeah, I know. At what point in my post do I imply that you are one?
quote:
French Rough Guide still aimed at skint travellers but also covering what your typical Liberation (Guardian) reader likes
Sort of there, really. You didn't feel the need to let me know the France Soir reader's preferred guide.

I'm not trying to pick a fight. Here, have a virtual slice of the reblochon I'm gorging on.

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twohundredpercent
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It's a strange thing - the "London" part of me is the only part of me that is absolutely dyed in the wool unchangeable, and I never really consciously realised it until two or three years ago or so. Having said that, thinking back to when I first went to Paris, when I was about 10, I instinctively knew that it was a city with more in common with London than St Albans had (we'd just moved there). It felt like home. I kind of felt the same in Tokyo and Moscow, too, though I don't know if this is universal across the biggest cities in the world.
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