Sunday, 28 September 2008
|1258 - Off to Paris|
I'm headed for Paris for a conference of Hercules developers. My flight leaves MSP a little before 10 PM tonight, and arrives at Charles de Gaulle about 6 PM Paris time tomorrow (with a 3-hour connection at Heathrow). Whee. I popped for business class tickets (at 150,000 miles for the trip), so at least I'll have comfortable seating on the trip. The seat is supposed to lie essentially flat, so maybe I'll be able to sleep on the airplane, something I've never managed before.
I'll return Thursday, arriving early afternoon in Minneapolis. I suspect I'll make the drive home and promptly crater.
I've never been to France before. I doubt I'll attempt to use my 35-year-old high-school French on the folks there, as it'd probably be less understandable than my English.
current mood: bouncy
I recommend trying to use your high school French. They'll appreciate it, and switch to English.
Just preface everything with "My French is poor, but I can try." or something to that effect... Maybe they'll be kind and switch over to English for you?
I dunno about those Frenchmen, though.. they're quite prideful.
Just be careful: my experience of Paris is that the French just don't understand drains and the men there were either after your money, or a screw.
Okkay, I'm curious. What's not to understand about drains?
Paris in summer smells pervasively - in a way which is totally alien to any other civilisations that embraced the art of sanitation-engineering.
OK, Paris may be truly creative, artistic and bohemian: I'll willingly pass up on that sort of stuff in exchange for some true third-millennium plumbing.
What, you can't fly there in the Tron-plane and save money? Heeheehee...
Let us know how it goes, sounds to be quite fun even if it is a business trip.
Well, for small values of "business": Hercules is a project I volunteer my time and computing resources for.
"Je parle Francais comme les Anglais faire cuisine."
Always amuses 'em.
I agree with the "try your French" votes. I've spent a bit of time in Paris and other places overseas.
Trying, even with a terrible accent and terrible grammar, shows respect for the country you are visiting and an understanding that you are not "in Kansas" anymore. I actually found it difficult to have a conversation in French, or Finnish, since everyone over there was excited to speak English with me. To automatically speak English and assume everyone else will follow along can come across as arrogant and presumptuous.
At the very least your valiant attempts at "la langue" will be a humorous icebreaker and will show that you respect their country and their culture.
And small children will find you charming.
My two bits, they are worth what you paid for them.
Ekatarina, who would *love* to be back at the "marche` au puis" north of Pont du Clinongcourt.
D'accord, je le ferai. On verra ce qui se passera.
(Okkay, I'll do it. We'll see what will happen.)
Écoutez-moi: vous ne aurez pas de problème avec ça!!
...and while I have no way to judge how my accent is, it's not the grammar that is the problem; my vocabulary is a shell of what it once was.
If you give it "the old college try" you will probably be delightfully surprized by how quickly it comes back.
In just three days in Paris my French jumped head and shoulders.
Heck, my Finnish improved just reading signs and listening on the tram.
Best wishes and bon voyage!
Bien sûr, use it! They will appreciate the effort. Believe it. It's what got me back taking French in college, and is leading me towards my international business BS studies.
You will be surprised how much floods back after being immersed in it.
Say "allô" to Roger, Ivan, and the rest from moi, s.v.p.