Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A glimpse of Saturday in Paris

Things have been unusually exciting around these parts lately - well, things in my little life, not necessarily in Paris (an update on my little life is coming soon). Although, last weekend all of Paris (and I believe the rest of Europe, too) was treated to a rare a peek into the usually formidable, mysterious and often private palaces, monuments and government buildings in and around the city. I honestly couldn't say I know much about the event, but Gui was all over checking out a few government palaces, so that's how we spent our Saturday.

We got a late start and only made it to two places, the Assemblée Nationale and the Bank of France. The Assemblée was interesting, and the 30 minute wait we had to get in was worth having a glimpse at the huge, ornate palace where laws are made in France - a place that I often see on snippets of news pieces.



Voting buttons for the Assembly members.


Library.

Just outside the building.

The bank tour was pretty lame. We didn't have to wait in line, but we realized shortly after walking into the place that our "bank" tour was simply a tour of the Galerie Dorée, no money making or counting in sight. Borrrring. The closest we got to seeing gold was this gilded room that reminded me of a room I saw in the Vatican.

But the best part of our day was getting there. We decided to Vélib between tours, which is something that I've been dying (and a little scared) to do since arriving in Paris. For a measly 1€ a piece, Gui and I made our way around Place de la Concorde, and up to Palais Royal without a hitch. I was surprised at how scared I wasn't, in the end. Afterwards, Gui and I talked about taking regular Vélib rides through Paris on the weekends. There's always more to see than we realize, places we have yet to uncover and our favorite spots we don't see often enough.

Cute boy on a bike.

Riding through Place de la Concorde.

At at light at Place de la Concorde.

7 comments:

lulu said...

brrr... you look cold. Great job on hopping on the vélib. Looks like a fun Saturday to me!

Evolutionary Revolutionary said...

Hooray! Velib = AWESOME...or so I've heard. When I get my balls back I'm going to hop on one toute suite!

Mathieu said...

Hi Juliet. You just won a free quick French lesson. Congratulations! ;-)

My guess is your "toute suite!" was supposed to mean "right now", right? In this case, it's "tout de suite". "Toute suite ..." could mean "Any suite ..." or "Every suite ..." for instance, but it doesn't fit there at the end of a sentence.

Which brings me to a cultural difference that I have observed sometimes between French and American people: French people tend to correct someone when he does a language mistake (and not just when he's a foreigner BTW!). On the contrary, most English-speaking persons, at least that I know of, rarely do that. As a result, they occasionally take offense when someone points out their language mistakes. And the French generally don't get it, because in their mind, they are just trying to help.

Anyway, what I wanted to say Juliet is, I definitely hope that you don't take my early remark badly: I'm just trying to help. ;-)

And now it's your turn to help me! :-) What do you mean by "When I get my balls back"? I don't understand this part of your sentence.

Evolutionary Revolutionary said...

Mathieu,

I am surprised Sarah didn't correct me first! ...and no, Americans typically do not correct Frenchies for their language mistakes unless it is blaringly obvious. I would consider mine a blaringly obvious mistake, so I forgive you. :P I imagine I will be corrected a GREAT DEAL in the next year!

New English phrase for you (along the vane of "Get my balls back") is "Ballbuster". That is what the French are to non-native French speakers!!

Mathieu said...

Thanks for the explanations Juliet! You made it pretty clear :-D

Zhu said...

I'm so jealous: I have always wanted to visit the Assemblée Nationale (and the Élysée) but I never had a chance... even though I'm French!

Irisa said...

Looks like a fun afternoon you all had! We missed our "webcam" date! Haha...I was at an outdoor wedding in West Austin. I guess I should have taken pictures...but I was a little hung over. ;-)

Hope to see you and Gui soon! I remember about this time last year, we were getting ready to plan our Europe Trip! So crazy how fast a year goes by!