A fun list we made up as we went throughout our trip…
- We learned that upgrading to Premium Voyager seating on Air France is totally not worth the money. Granted, there are only two seats where as there are 3 in coach. But these seats were almost as comfortable as a Judas Chair.
- That the large white 8×10 light switch in the bathroom in Switzerland isn’t a light switch – it’s the flush for the toilet? Flush much?
- That no residence in Switzerland is immune from the continuous chimes of the carillons — imagine midnight bells, times 50
- That nail clippers are not the most efficient way to open a the heavy duty plastic which contains human ashes when trying to open it in a hurry, without creating an international incident.
- That there really was a reason why multiple crowds of more than100+ at the Gare de Leon train station were staring at the multiple jumbo tron screens suspended by from the ceiling. No, not the World Cup, not the US Open finals, not the NFL Superbowl, but the simply a way of corralling hords of humanity into a small area, all waiting to find out the platform their individual trains were leaving from. Tip: Do not stand anywhere near the platform entrance just after the screens have been updated. Bad idea. Bad.
- Never to order a margarita at a “tex-mex” restaurant in Paris. Enough said.
- That French waiters aren’t rude, they just don’t care. They get their money either way. No tipping needed.
- That we are capable enough to not only fend for ourselves, where we don’t speak the native tongue, we can give aide to lost travelers, not as capable as us. apparently.
- That there are people who travel, who NEED to be horded onto one of the 1000’s of tour buses that circle the city endlessly. We learned were are not at all the “herd on the tour” types at all. The river tour was supposed to be a small group of people, with dinner after — turned out that small = 500+. She look at me, I looked at her and we bailed. I, like a good New Yorker, climbed over the barricaded area. She went through the crowd. Both ways worked – we escaped. Never again.
- That there is a reason why the stereotypical image of the French, with their noses raised in distaste. Dog poop on the sidewalk.
- That there is a second reason for the sterotypical image of the French, with their noses raised in distaste. Apparently, whipping it out to relieve yourself is very common. Those pools next to the building, and the long runs of dried .. something are almost always urine.
- That you can drink in the streets of Paris without problem. At any time of day. 10AM a good time for a beer? Non issue.
- French markets feature an abundance of FRESH foods. And when they say fresh, it can mean fur and all. Heads included. Think entire rabbit. Think fresh roadkill, available from the local butcher.
- That while Americans feel the need for everything to be available to them at all times, the French do not feel the same, as most every shop is closed on Sundays. The traditional day of rest.
- That French will wear anything. Including a pair of running sneakers and speedo. Apparently suitable atire for an early morning jog on Rue André Barsacq.
- That renting an electric bike in Paris, available everywhere. All it takes is a credit card, 150 Euros, strong leg muscles and a propensity for suicidal jaunts while weaving in and out between taxis, buses and crazy drivers on the streets of Paris.
- That the French take biking through the streets of Paris very seriously. It’s their bike lane, dammit, and they’ll run you down as soon as look at you,, all the while ringing their bike bell which sounds exactly like the one I had when I was 7, on my Schwinn, plastic basket, streamers and a flag.
- I’ve learned that I should have paid closer attention to Sister Marie Therese’s French lessons in high school. Who knew.
- That French men are not afraid to embrace their femininity by wearing skinny jeans, scarves and pink shirts. And they wear the pointiest toed shoes seen since the first time I ever saw a Chistmas elf. And that women can wear leggings, capri’s, a skirt, tank top, sweater, scarf….all at once. If fashion trends hold true and the US continues to get their ideas from Europe, Coming soon to a Macy’s near you.