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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cliché Paris

Last weekend, I had one of my top "Parisian" experiences.  I was planning on doing some homework, which meant reading a French play, and catching up on emails (despite being STILL without a computer) when my host father, Olivier, proposed a trip to a museum.  We quickly decided on the Delacroix museum, which is part of the Louvre (if the Louvre is like the Smithsonian) but at a different location than the main building.  The Delacroix museum is located in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the "chic et cher" (chic and expensive) quartier in Paris, which via metro requires at least 2 switches.  I wasn't paying too much attention until my host dad said that we were leaving toute de suite (right now), "en moto."

"En moto" my host mom repeated, "ca te va? en moto?" which means, "is that ok with you, en moto?"  "Oui, oui" I reassured her, breezily, and then I stated that I needed to go get my coat.  "Oh!" I realized... en moto means a motorcycle, not a car.  I was about to ride a motorcycle- a BMW to be specific!  I put on my leather boots and my windproof jacket and met my host dad down in the street, where he offered me a very heavy duty helmet.  I strapped it on and we were off.

The first few blocks were a little less than fun, as I realized that, like every other motorcycle driver in Paris, my host dad drives fast, and weaves through traffic (kind of similar to the way my real Dad -love you!- drives at home).  After getting used to that, and reminding myself that Olivier drives a motorcycle all the time and I wasn't going to fly off, and even if I did I was wearing a really heavy duty helmet, I tore my eyes away from the back of Olivier's helmet to look around, and good thing I did.  We drove by the Trocadéro and the Tour Eiffel, then along the banks of the Seine, past the Louvre and the Assemblée Nationale and the Musée d'Orsay, then took Boulevard Saint Michel and drove (a bit slower) through the tinier streets to the museum.  The entire trip, and the entire trip back, I had to keep reminding myself that this was real - I really was experiencing Paris as a true Parisian -although they are a great deal more nonchalant and probably not slackjaw and wide-eyed as they pass these historic monuments.  I'm working on it.

Much love,

1 comment:

  1. Tu en as bien de la chance, j'adore quand Papa me prend avec lui sur sa moto... Finis les embouteillages, l'attente dans le métro, les pieds mouillés ou les glissades à roller... C'est beaucoup plus rapide et bien plus pratique! Et puis, on se sent tellement grande quand on enlève le casque et qu'on reproduit (difficilement) la pub de l'Oréal : mouvement de cheveux "parce que je le vaux bien!" Contente que tu es accompagnée Papa, souvent c'est moi qui y vais avec lui. Profites toujours et mieux de cette belle ville, par tous les moyens de locomotion possibles et inimaginables! C'est comme ça qu'on s'approprie un lieu!
    Je t'embrasse,