about how much they hate americans, but other than the anti-Bush sentiment, i can honestly say i haveseen little proof of this supposed hatred.We have been walking all day and it is wonderful. There are leashless dogs running around everywhere andpeople wandering the parks right by the eiffel tower as if they have seen it so many times, they don't evennotice it's there.The little french that i know has proven fairly useful, but for the most part people speak pretty good english.Twelve hours of sleep certainly helped me get re-energized; it feels great having the freedom, to just walkwherever we want and, as nathaniel said, not have to meet up with a group at a specific time and place.I had some sort of false impression that we would meet a lot of people doing something similar to us- thepilgrimage, or a different walk oriented trip- for the most part, though, we have met numerous people whoare staying in paris or taking the rail to get to various countries. Our two roommates last night were collegestudents from PA and they had visited 12 countries and 18 cities in 30 days.While Paris is great, i am very excited to leave for spain tomorrow. I cannot wait to experience the Caminoafter months of planning and thinking about it.That is all for now.Au'revoir,Christina
Christina in Europe
on June 12, 2004 08:39 AM
June 12, 2004
Je Ne Parle Pas Francais...
And then, there was Paris...Almost immediately after landing at CDG, I aquired the insecure awkward stare of a person totally thrownout of their linguistic comfort zone for the first time. Christina had taught me a few essentials ("I don't speakFrench" "Do you speak English?" and most importantly "I'm sorry!") but they did little to alleviate this weirdnew self-conciousness. I tried to tell myself that it was good for me, and that I sure as hell needed to getover it before leaving for
in the Fall, but still...ugh.This wasn't my only first impression though. To get to the hotel we had to walk for about 45 minutes. Thepath took us through the winding streets of Northern Paris, overflowing with Cafes,
and more. Beautfiul balconies seem to poke lazily out of every building. Throughout the dayyesterday, extreme language-lacking awkwardity and visual extasy competed for control of my brain.Perhaps it was the 12-hour nap, or the late-night converstion with the kids from Philly who had to pound onthe door so we would wake up to let them in to our shared dorm-room, or maybe the free croissants andcoffee at the hostel this morning, but today has been a different story entirely. The extasy and excitementhas cast the discomfort aside in an epic fashion, appropriate for the history and beauty that surrounds us.