‘Pardon, s’il vou plait’ are four indispensable words when in Paris. Or, I’d argue, any part of France, especially if you don’t speak the language. I don’t know if it really helps much to utter that phrase but, trust me, it couldn’t hurt.
This was my second trip to the City of Light and, as before, a bit of a challenge. The whole language thing is tricky. The truth is in many other European countries people speak English, or at least some English. In France, that’s not always the case.
Some people see this as being elitist but I’m not so sure. After all, how many Americans speak French? And at one time it’s said that the two most common languages in the world were English and French, it’s the whole colonialization thing. So, basically, you could get along quite well in the world knowing either language, and knowing both was probably just showing off.
Now, however, varying analysis of world languages seem to suggest that most people speak Chinese, with English being a close second and some Arabic languages becoming more prevalent. But enough about geolinguistics.
Paris is a beautiful city. It really is. Probably one of the best things about my trip this time was my hotel room. Nah, the room wasn’t anything to write about (although, here I am writing about it), but the view was spectacular. Even if I had to stick my head out of the window to see it: The Eiffel Tower.
There is something pretty special about the tower. Probably the most fascinating thing is that it was never meant to be permanent. It was created for the International Exhibition of Paris in 1889 and, by most accounts, Parisians found it rather ugly. It was scheduled to be torn down around 1900, but because it had become a host for varying radio relay antenna by the military, it was spared.
I can’t help but look at this structure and just stand it awe. It’s a testament to ingenuity, determination, and art. I could go on and on, but words could never describe my feeling standing at the Palace de Trocadero and looking onto the Tower. It really is spectacular.
Oh, and the Trocadero is pretty nifty too.