Paris: how I survived with hand gestures, Spanish and facial expressions of shock and confusion

~The trip started off interestingly enough when the flight got delayed several hours with the threat of being completely canceled because the cargo workers went on strike. But what’s traveling without a little chaos, right?

So, flying out about 2 hours later than the original departure time,we set out to Paris, “The City of Love.” Is that ‘amor’ in French?… or Spanish..? Who knows.

I have to admit that I went to Paris a bit cocky. “You’ll be fine” I told myself, “you speak Spanish, it’s a romance language” I said, “you took one year of French in the 12th grade” I said.

IMG_0561I learned very quickly on the taxi ride to the airbnb apartment that those things would do me NO good, and I didn’t want to be the typical American tourist who travels and just expects everyone to speak English because “everyoneeee speaks English” (insert eyeroll). Luckily, I sat next to a Spaniard polyglot on the plane who then shared a cab with us halfway and did all of the translating to get us to the apartment safe. A true life-saver. But after we went our separate ways, my motto became “I’ll try to use the little French I know. If that doesn’t work I’ll try to say it in Spanish with a French-ish accent. If THAT doesn’t work, I’ll make something up accompanied with hand gestures and pray to the universe that whatever I’m trying to say isn’t an insult.” It worked for the most part!

So, besides the delayed flight, minimal knowledge of French, and limited GPS access everything was great during the trip.

Paris was everything I’d ever dreamed it would be. Pretty much croissant and hot
chocolate heaven. Scratch that. Pretty much FOOD heaven, as we never had a bad experience with anything we ate. Oh did I mention MACAROONS. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

IMG_0518 IMG_0402IMG_0565

Creme Brulee

So now that I’m done salivating as I hope you are too, here’s some more about Paris.

IMG_0509We pretty much saw every touristic thing there is to see, doing it all in a weekend, on foot (about 20 miles of walking… no exaggeration according to the trusty Garmin watch).

We walked from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre. I should also throwIMG_0456IMG_0419IMG_0417 in our stop to McDonalds (to potty! I swear not to eat!) and that should be considered a tourist attraction as well with its touch screen ordering menus mounted on the wall and their wide assortment of macaroons (I’m telling you Paris is macaroon heaven).

After a day of walking, we finished the night off with a nice bottle of wine, which was extra nice since it only cost 3 euros.

IMG_0547IMG_0554The following day we visited Moulin Rouge (the outside, because obviously seeing one of those shows is out of my TA budget), and I guess this was the more raunchy part of Paris

IMG_0578IMG_0582IMG_0572IMG_0598because the street stores were literally: sex store- sex store-bar-strip club- strip club- shoe store-bar-restaurant- sex store-sex store-sex store. But hey, we all made it to this Earth more or less the same way, might as well make some money off of it and make it fun.

We finished the trip to Paris with a visit to the Notre Dame church. I couldn’t help but thank Disney because I’m pretty sure I would’ve forgotten to visit that spot if I didn’t love Quasimodo.

Driving back to the airport I reflected on the trip a bit and I have to say, Paris is really all it’s cracked up to be. I liked it much more than NYC but that’s just my personal opinion. It was more expensive than the parts of Spain I visited but that’s to be expected. The people were great, the food was awesome and there was so much diversity. There were so many mixed couples (almost the norm) which was nice for me to see being in a mixed-race relationship and having dealt with a bit of racism (at times) because of it.

So if you’re in Europe and are planning a weekend trip, I would definitely recommend Paris! But if you are/were a runner, be prepared to have your lungs polluted constantly because literally everyone and their grandma smokes! Also, make sure you at least know how to say the basic necessities like “me want food/water, bathroom, lost, help me, dying, etc.” 🙂 ~

Up Next: Black Lives Matter.. what is means and how to help vs. how not to help

Up Next 2: Madrid: Giripollas, Tíos and Hombres






























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