Sunday, July 26, 2009

Paris: Once again

I couldn't finish my trip of the year without a stop to the city of love!! Paris, sans toi je serai pris!!
Yes, I love Paris, the multicultural and multiracial dynamics found in metros, trains and RERs, the unique fashion sense that animate French people, the peculiar architecture: an extreme amount of blocks and tons of concrete packed together that make Paris Paris, hum and above all the French cuisine. This was my second time (as an adult) being in the country of Sarko. I had to go back to that place where I had this delicious salade ni├žoise and of course the bread. There is this slimmest french bread usually used for sandwiches which at first sight seems like a teaser but it's so fulfilling that one piece is enough to hold you for the whole day. And this time around, I had the pleasure to visit the famous French museum: Le Louvre. It's funny how cold it can be in June over there I was freezing despite my oversize sweater (clearly it wasn't mine)!!
With the cultural diversity comes some tensions among the French that they need to resolve. For instance, the immigration ("Les Sans Papiers") issue, the government needs to pass some type of affirmative action that would garantee a fair l representation of its social diversity, reduce discrimation and bring value to the country as a whole. A problem that most immigrants face in that country is that it's quite difficult to find a job even after graduating from school unless you're in a specialized field like I.T. (where they have an acute need).
I've always had a little hard time rating the French on their level of kindness comparing to Americans. I mean Americans, they will hold the door for you (btw, I don't like when s.o waits for me at the door because it always makes me rush so I won't waste their time thus show some kind of insensitivity to their kindness), say thank you when you hold the elevator for them. Well, I had this little incident. I was heading to the metro/train/RERs (I can't never distinguish which is which) station with two suitcases, one carry on troller and my back pack. Now I got stuck at the "gate", the plastic (sometimes steel) double door with a scanner on the side that helps verify the metrotaker ticket validity. I had to figure out to pass through the door with all my luggages at once. So I had the brightest idea to ask for help. "Excuse-me...uh...Excusez-moi, bonjour...", head down my potential scapegoat passed by without a look in my direction, idem for the second and the third. With this rate of "success" I convinced myself that I was probably speaking too low (I've accused of that before!). I managed to speak louder and finally got the attention of an individual, I could see a little hesitation on his face "Bonjour, pouvez-vous m'aider avec un de mes bagages?" I asked "euh oui bien sur" he replied and picked up my carryon trolley, the smallest of all, lol. French are a little like us here in the States. They like having a good time under the sun, seated in their bistros or cafes, chatting with their friends and family while sipping a beverage. And just like we get in our cars and race through the highways, they bow their heads down and race through the metros.
I love traveling and as I read somewhere "le monde est comme un livre ceux qui ne voyagent pas n'en lisent qu'une page"---"The world is like a book and those who don't travel just read one page"
I'm already wondering where I would be next year, God's willing :).

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