My week of firsts in France

The title is self explanatory. I will however deepen the subject and say that out of all the trips that I did in this lifetime from vacations to business travel to trips I guided, NONE of them was so adventurous as my week in France. I experienced a lot of awkward, WTF, FML, What is happening?!? moments in a week. In France. Not all of them were bad, of course. I was in dreamy, romantic France for all it mattered. In France, this is a key matter as I had been warned that funny things might come my way when in France.

It was the first time:

  • I did not get to see my number one must see on my list: the Saint Chapelle. Went there twice to visit it, first in the afternoon and the queue was huge. The second time, it was 15 min after opening hour and I was met with the same huge queue. Next time I’ll be armed with a Paris pass or skip the line card or Moses. Whatever gets me inside the chapel.
  • I felt incapable of articulating myself. You can read the full explanation about why, in spite of studying French for 8 years, I can’t actually say anything that makes any sense in this language.
  • I got a fine at the metro. This is super embarrassing. You know what we do in Bucharest with the used metro tickets? We throw them in the first garbage bin. Habit that cost me 32 euros in Paris. Do you know what was even more absurd? I was so happy I stumbled upon a control officer that spoke English and I could explain the situation: I am a tourist, I had no idea. Yes, I know it’s stupid and a rookie mistake but please understand. I have other 6 valid metro cards. NO. You have no ticket, you pay 32 euros.
  • I saw someone stealing. This was a shocker! So there I was at 7 am getting coffee from a McDonalds near our apartment. We were 4 customers in the Mc and 2 guys behind the counter doing whatever stuff. As I was waiting for my coffee and staring around at people I SAW HIM. Actually, at first I just saw a guy with his hand deep into the muffin stand. I’ve never seen someone stealing. And he was doing it like it was something super normal. Hey Bob! Nothing new! Here I am stealing my morning muffin at McDonalds. So the first 2 seconds I did not understand what he was doing. And then BAM reality hit my pretty innocent head. He is stealing muffins, dumass! Not just stealing, he was trying to get the blueberry flavor. To be honest, in this matter I get it. Orange flavor muffins are not really worth the trouble. I continued staring, he continued stealing. And then my gaze fell on his butt (whatever, ok?) because he had a doughnut stuffed in one of his back-pockets. Like, out of all the places one would hide a doughnut…the back-pocket??really? He grabbed his blueberry muffin 5 seconds before he got his hamburger. Do you think he left McDonalds in a hurry? NO. He went to a table near the counter, in front of the window, retrieved the doughnut from his back-pocket and enjoyed his breakfast. I do not know if I should be worried about the faith of humanity, jealous about his skills and uhm…courage? or enraged that I’ve lived in a bubble until now.
  • It was the first time I traveled with a high speed train. The famous TGV that reached 300km /hour at a certain point. It would have been perfect if it hadn’t a 50 minutes delay due to late departure. We lost our first rental car because by the time we reached our destination the car rental office had closed.
  • I understood why they beheaded Marie Antoinette.
  • I drove a golf buggy. And got to overtake other golf buggies. Yeah! I was Speedy Golfzales!
  • I posed for a portrait in Montmartre. Very touristy, I know but it was one of the things I really wanted to have: my portrait drawn by a starving, bohemian, Montmartre artist. My eyes do not match in my portrait.

I_don_t_see_it

  • My phone memory was full and I couldn’t take any more pictures and videos in Disneyland. After 5 minutes of bitching about it, I realised that for the first time in a loooong time I can just… enjoy it.
  • I drove three times in a roundabout because I couldn’t tell which was the good exit on the navigation of the rental car. Now it’s funny but at 11 at night, in the middle of nowhere and still having to pick the rest of the group from the train station…not funny at all.
  • I got a speeding ticket in Nice. I’ve been a driver for over 10 years with 0 speeding tickets until now. In France I got two fines in one week. I call myself a functional adult.
  • I really pondered the idea of living abroad because in spite of all the strange and awkward adventures Paris is awesome in every way possible.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “My week of firsts in France

  1. The face you make on that GIF is hilarious! Girl, you weren’t impressed!
    Also had a bit of a chuckle about your description of the stealing man (crazy skills, I bet it wasn’t his first time!). I can totally relate to no.2., since I am the same way with German. Can’t. Seem. To. Speak.
    Anyways, looking forward to some more awesome photos of awesome, adventure-filled France! 🙂

    1. Thank you for reading! NO! I was not impressed with my portrait but I’m still framing it and putting it on the wall. I love souvenirs My apartment is full of touristic photos, fridge magnets, postcards and different drawings.
      As to the stealing man…jeez, I was in shock the entire day. When I thought I forgot about it it hit me: I just saw someone stealing in broad daylight!
      Sadly, I did not have my camera with me on my trip so the selection of photos that I actually like is not huge but I would like to sort some out and maybe put together a photo blog post.
      I do understand the not being able to speak German thing. Had three semesters of German at uni and I can barely tell the time if anyone asks.

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