I see London, I see France

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My husband has not had good experiences or memories from France, so you can imagine his response when I suggested that we visit Paris as part of our upcoming vacation to commemorate our 20th wedding anniversary. As I pleaded for a romantic afternoon strolling along the cafes, wonderful pictures by the Eiffel Tower and a visit to the Louvre, he reminded me of the last time we were in France. We visited Cannes for a day on a Mediterranean cruise 2 years ago. After browsing the much too expensive shops, we decided to head to the beach. To access the beach, we had to go to a “beach club,” which luckily provided rental umbrellas and lounge chairs.  As we approached the small stand, I realized that the young man didn’t speak English and we don’t speak French. I did my best gestures and spoke extra loudly (because that helps) as I said UMBRELLA and TWO CHAIRS. It became apparent that the young man didn’t understand and my husband was instantly annoyed. I continued pointing and over enunciating, determined to prove my husband wrong about the French people. This continued for a few minutes and then a lightening bolt hit me and in my excitement I screamed, “PARASOL!” The young man seemed relieved as he got one and then he motioned to the chairs and I nodded and held up two fingers. Victorious, we followed the young man to the beach where he proceeded to set up our chairs and umbrella. After my husband handed him a tip the young man looked at us and said, “Thanks, have a great day,” in perfect English; I couldn’t believe it. I laughed and  my husband gave me his I told you so look. Later that afternoon we were heading back to our ship and stopped at a mobile stand for a snack. My husband asked for two Coke Zeros (which were on display) and the salesman just stared; he didn’t understand. My husband said it again and pointed to the can. The salesman looked annoyed and said, “Oh, Coke Zzerro!” (imagine it with a French accent) at which point my husband was about to strangle the man.

So, in a few weeks we will be heading to Europe again and we will be visiting Paris for a few days before heading to Greece. I am hoping that I can turn my husband’s heart to favor the romantic city that I have always wanted to visit. So if you know anyone in Paris can you ask them to be super nice to us?!

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2 thoughts on “I see London, I see France

  1. I found that the French really appreciate it when you greet them in their language prior to asking for whatever it is that you want. You would be surprised how accommodating they can be once greeted with a friendly bonjour or a bonne soir prior to any requests you may have. Just my experience anyway.

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