Monthly Archives: January 2011

Conversations at the Louvre

My only regret at the Louvre was that I was able to follow only English. Many times I saw mothers and fathers holding their stomachs laughing. I caught a few ones that cracked me up. Here are the ones I remember.

At the Mona Lisa:

The Mona Lisa

>>>She is not even pretty!!!

>>>That is the Mona Lisa!!!???? Dude! WTF!

At Micheal Angelo’s Captive Slave:

The captive slave

>>>Mom he has no pants on!

At Canova’s Psyche and cupid:

Psyche and Cupid

>>>Are they doing yoga?

At the consecration:

The consecration of Napoleon the I

>>>Damn all this while I thought Napoleon was a guy!!

A note to this painting:- It threw me off too. Of course I knew Napoleon was a guy. But a casual glance at the painting shows Josephine kneeling to receive the crown.

At the Greek Antiquities:

>>>Are all people from greek without head?

>>>Nice Ass!

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Museum Hopping – criss cross across the Seine

The following are my favourite picks from the Museums of Paris.

Musee D’Orsay

Van Gogh’s self portrait

Musee de ‘Orangerie

Undoubtedly Monet’s water lilies

Musee Rodin

The thinker

The Louvre

The Mona Lisa smile! No prizes for guessing which one!

The Mona Lisa smile
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Notre Dame de Paris

I am going to let Victor Hugo take over from here:

” A vast symphony in stone…”

A symphony indeed

” Great Building, like great  mountains, are the work of centuries”

Great building like great mountains…

“Geometry is a harmony”

The inside of the cathedral

“In those days, they saw everything thus, without metaphysics, without exaggeration, without a magnifying glass, with the naked eye. The microscope had not yet been invented, either for material things or for the things of the spirit.”

Stained glass windows

And finally,

The watchmen of the Notre Dame  sans  Quasimodo

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La Tour Eiffel

This Colosseum of iron  is Paris’s unique identifier. My first mistake was to judge proximity based on the visibility of the tower. Painfully and a about what seemed like a million blocks later  I learnt that it was not a smart move.

The Iron Lady by day

The best time to visit the Eiffel tower is in the morning.  Start from the Cite de l’Architecture.

By Night

The sheer size of its base dwarfs you. On walking under it I could not help but feel like an insignificant mini me.

Gigantic by day
By night!
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Paris of the nice, Paris of the not so nice!!!

Paris of the Nice….

Paris of the Nice

I step out of the train and I am lost!

Billet??? Sortie???  Interdit???

I must have lost written all over my face.  A complete stranger walks up to me  and hands me a metro ticket.

” Take it you need it. “

And he is gone before I can say Merci!

A little gesture goes a long way, Literally!!

Thanks to the strangers metro ticket I reach the stop near my hotel. I struggle with my bags up the stairs. An elderly gentleman comes up to me and talks to me in French and grabs my bags.

Once we reach the top of the stairs he becomes the first man to get a taste of my French.

Merci Becoup!  I say adding to it my sweetest smile.

Paris of the not so nice…

Paris of the Not so Nice

I step out into the streets of Paris and it begins to rain. Paris is cold and wet but that does not dampen my spirits, at least not yet!

I now have to go looking for my hotel. I walk a bit into the rain hugging my coat tighter.

I see a youngish gentleman and ask him,
“Sir, please can you tell me the way to 12, bldv V..”

” Look and walk you will find it!!!”

Wow!! That was informative!

I walk into a Ristorante and ask again.

This time, ” Am I supposed to know ??”

I look at him and say in  the meanest possible way” Thank You”.

Before the sliding doors close I catch the conversation from within.

“Ah! Americano”

Freaks!!!  In which planet would I be called an Americano???!!!

Paris of the in betweens….

I was told that most Parisians would not speak in Anglais. But what I was not told was that most Parisians do not know Anglais!

I stopped by Coupon to get a sim card.  The owner talked french for 10 minutes and said” Oui”??

At this point I looked up my Western European Phrasebook and read “Je ne comprends pas”, following which we walked over to the Cafe next door. He repeated the same to the Sri Lankan sales girl and she translated it to Tamil and then  translated my responses back in French. It was an ordeal.

At the end of it I got myself a very expensive sim card and I have not been able to make any calls!!!! I am debating whether I should go over there tomorrow!

Paris by the pavement side….

Une Cafe Sans lait

I had the most wonderful coffee. It was black thought. I literally had to do a song and a dance to get a little milk.

Once I get back I must sign up for a French course.

Later today while I was thinking of calling it a day, I chanced upon La Croissanterie. Getting geared up to do a little gig for a little milk I started with “Une cafe o lait” in the worst possible way.

And I got the reply” Skimmed milk?” in perfect Anglais.

Ah! Americano!!!

La Croissanterie not only serves good coffee with skimmed milk but it is also a very quaint place. It has paintings of animals all over the walls and is a perfect place to watch the lights come on in the apartments in Paris.

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