October 20, 2013
The next part of our European tour wasn’t really scheduled as a tour event. We had a few days in Paris from the middle of the 8th to the morning of the 11th to rest a bit and prepare for the next events in Warsaw and Amsterdam. We didn’t have any events planned in Paris, unfortunately. This was just a bit of down time for us.
We didn’t have a big list of things we wanted to do. We didn’t climb the Eiffel Tower and we didn’t go to all the museums. We’re not really touristy kinda people in that way. We’d rather eat all yr foods than see all yr sites. So, we walked around a lot and were just goofy and playful. And we ate a lot. A lot. We can see it in our faces. Our diets have gone totally out the window for this Europe trip. First thing we did when we got back to Korea was exercise like crazy. Ha!
Back to Paris: we wanted to spend more time just relaxing, you know? Sitting at restaurant here, a coffee shop there, and just people watching. That’s what most of the places are built for, anyways: the chairs outside don’t point at each other, so you can look in each other’s eyes lovingly. They’re pointed out to the streets, so you can watch the world, together. Some of the busier restaurants have so many outward pointing chairs with so many people sitting in them it looks like someone cut out a row at the bleachers in a football game. It was lovely!
Sadly, though, I’m not sure if we came to Paris at a bad time. Was there an election or something? Did something serious happen in the news around that time? It seemed like everywhere we went, except for a few places, people were generally grumpy or sad looking. There was a lot of scowling rather than smiling. We’d walk into stores and the people working there would sit with their arms folded, wouldn’t ask anything, and would just stare off at something grumpily. We went into restaurants and used all of the French we learned in elementary school in Canada (not the French I butchered jokingly in the video), and we were able to order wholly in French, but the servers were…pissy? They’d take our orders with a sigh and give us our food without a word. Not a “merci” or “bon appetit” or anything. Not even a smile. This wasn’t true for EVERYBODY, mind you. The place where we got the mulled wine in the pictures below was lovely. LOVELY. The server there was fun and bubbly and had a great personality. He laughed with us and asked questions, but he was the exception rather than the rule. At the pasty restaurant we went to with the macaroons below, we ordered 4 macaroons and picked out four different flavors, which the waiter wrote down on paper. When we got the macaroons a few minutes later, three out of the four macaroons were wrong. When we told the waitress afterwards, she grumpily said “well, what do you want me to do about it?” Nothing. We didn’t want anything. We just wanted to pay and leave, and never come back to that restaurant.
Now, I’m not writing this to say that all of Paris is like this, and that everyone’s an asshole. That’s definitely not fair for us to say. We just might have come to Paris at a bad time, or maybe we just went to the wrong places, or maybe our pronunciation was terrible. We just didn’t feel as warm and invited there as we did in Norway, Sweden, Amsterdam, and Poland, where most everyone we met was smiling and caring. In Korea, if we say something in Korean, Korean people are mostly smiling and happy. They let us know how good our Korean is, and they’re amazed that we speak it. In Paris, not a peep. Our pronunciation was off, and it looked like we offended them for not speaking French fluently.
We did meet a few French Nasties in the streets who were delightful and happy and friendly and lovely. And smiling. Smiling! WHERE ARE THE REST OF YOUR PEOPLE HIDING? Do you live in a different part of Paris? The happier part? TELL MEEEEEEEEEE!
The city itself was gorgeous, and the food that we got ourselves, rather than from restaurants, was lovely! Oh man: being able to walk out of your place and head down the street to get a fresh loaf of bread in the bakery, a nice, cheap bottle of wine at the winery, a wide assortment of goat cheeses at the cheesery, a lot of deli meats and pates at the meatery, was just amazing. Korea doesn’t really have that. Paris Baguette here is nothing like Paris. The breads here are not good. The cheese scene here in Korea is growing, but still rather non-existent and exorbitantly overpriced. The luxury of being able to get all of this, just down the street, at reasonable prices was definitely our favorite part of our vacation.
Anyhow, that’s it for this post. We’ve got a lot of pictures from our stay as well, which you can see here below. We’re working on the Warsaw and Amsterdam videos today, and hope to get them up ASAP before Music Monday! Yay! Make sure you don’t miss out on any of our videos by clicking on the button here. Every click you make contributes to the Korean cheese fund, and will bring cheeses to this country at a cheaper price. DO IT FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY!
And now for pics: