Confound it! The batteries are dead!

Adieu Norway, Bonjour Paris

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So… I’ve moved to Paris, fashion centre of the world, the city of romance, the third biggest city in EU… And my friends are asking me “How is Paris treating you? How do you do? How is life in Paris?” The only thing I can answer to this question is yes. Hesitantly. Its not that its not nice in Paris, on contrary actually: I really like it here! But there is not much to say still. It’s not that different you see.

Sure I’m now about 20cm taller than the averange boy and 30cm taller than the averange girl, which is to say I’m a few cm taller than people than I am in Norway, sure I can’t recognice the wares in the shops anymore, and I can’t speak the native language and I don’t really know the city (or where to get a cheap beer at a nice bar), but it’s not really that different, you know. It’s an european city in a western world, how different could it be?

The reason I’m in Paris is I’m attending a language course here for the next four following months and in my spare time I just walk around with my baguette and say “bonjour” to strangers. I’ve already been wandering around Louvre and le Arc de Triumph, le Centre du Pompidou, Tour Eiffel, Notre Dame, Phanteon… those nice walks, in those places you have to see, when you have all the time in the world (but still move faster than the averange tourist), and you are mistaken for being French more than once. What a great feeling that is…

Some days ago I witnessed a couple standing in front of the doors of the metro train making out, kissing like crazy, not moving when the other people tried to get out of the train car, not reacting as they shoved and pushed and crammed next to them. Surprisingly strange (ah, Paris, tu est romantique!). And a woman asked me something in French (which I couldn’t undertand) and I replied, with food in my mouth: “Pardon moi, mais je ne parle pas francais” (Pardon me, but I don’t speak French), and she told my my accent was good! I think that is the clue to speaking French: do it with food in your mouth! Yesterday a drunk French guy came on the metro, yelling out that he was hungry for France, or something like that (je faime de France), and “Viva la France!”, and everybody had a good laugh, except me, because I didn’t understand the joke or the rest of what he said. So I went to sleep instead of laughing, and slept a couple of stops past where I was supposed to get off, but that was okay, and I felt kinda like a French guy at that moment. Today I had to keep up that French feeling, so I’ve started reading on the metro also.

I’ve had 3 classes so far, and my teacher only speaks French (I think she knows some English?). I am very, very grateful for those 5 years in school where I had French now, because I can understand most of what the teacher says, but still its really hard, and I can’t really ask her anything, because I can’t make any sentences. I know that some of my classmates are less lucky than me, because they’ve never had French in school. The strange thing is that I’m in the beginner level (or “Debutant Absolu!” – I think you have to yell it…) and they expect us to know some French already. Learning French is not easy… not at all, not even by a long shot. I’ve gotten two new favourite words though: “Papillon” and “Pamplemousse”: Butterfly and Grapefruit. Just try to say them a couple of times.




Pamplemousse-Papillon! C’est bon!

Oh, and the girls here are surprisingly beautiful. I actually thought they would be less attractive than Norwegian girls (which they are… but…), but I never expected them to be this attractive! The only “downside” with them is that there seems to be a lot fashion-awareness here, which quite frankly stresses me out and is not my kind of thing.

À bientôt!


Written by Aslak

February 13, 2009 at 00:47

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