After every city (or whenever he gets around to it), Casey will be doing a short guest blog to share some of his experiences, lessons learned and relationship advice that he has gathered along the way. Only fair, I guess, since he’s on this trip too. All opinions expressed are his own and are not reflective of the owner of this blog. (aka: Please do not judge me based on his posts.)
Deep Thoughts by Casey: Paris Edition
The French are actually really nice
Before I moved from the west coast to New York City I remember everyone telling me how rude the people there were. “The cab drivers yell at you if you don’t know where you’re going” or “You’ll never make friends because nobody will talk to you”. I heard similar things about Paris – that the people are disinterested in tourists and generally rude.
My experience couldn’t have been further from that. In the subway when a woman noticed us having trouble with the machine she was more than happy to help us without us even asking (we must have really looked confused). Every single person we met tried their best to speak English when we couldn’t spit out more than Bonjour! And I will never forget the amazing service from the owner of Casia Mia who was moved to tears when we explained that our friends from New York City recommended we eat there, which she owns and operates with her husband (thanks Danny and Ariel!!!).
I have been all over the world, including other places in Europe, and never in my life have I seen as many smokers as I did in Paris. I’ve had maybe five cigarettes in my life (Sorry, Mom!), but I can honestly say I was craving one just watching everyone around me light up.
Not a whole lot else to write here. Just weird.
The City is on edge
The attack on Nice was exactly two weeks before our trip to Paris, which marked the third major terrorist attack in France within the last 18 months. This city is definitely on edge. Police were EVERYWHERE and any area with major foot traffic had fully camouflaged military personnel with automatic weapons. We did one full day of site seeing and I honestly felt uneasy as we walked through main areas.
Unbeknownst to us, two days before we arrived a Catholic Priest was beheaded by ISIS in Northern France while conducting Mass… glad we didn’t know that before arriving. Because of that incident there was a memorial Mass at Notre Dame (who knew that’s a church and not just a school that Rudy attended?… stupid American) with the Prime Minister of France in attendance on the day we were visiting. The police presence was alarming and I honestly couldn’t wait to get away from that area of the city.
It’s sad that this is the World that we now live in, where we have to fear crowded places and question the actions of a lone stranger sitting in the park, who is probably just out enjoying the perfect Paris weather like we are.
Going out is expensive
Meghan and I were well aware that this was probably going to be the most expensive city we were going to visit, but it cost way more than I originally thought. Even at happy hours we couldn’t find drinks for less than $6 and any sit down restaurant was going to be significantly more. Coupled with us not being able to speak French we ended up not knowing what we ordered half the time. In one instance we ended up with a $40 three course meal and I discovered that rabbit doesn’t taste that different from chicken.
BUT there is a saving grace. Picnics and drinking in the park are highly acceptable…. if not encouraged. On our last night we were able to get a bottle of wine, baguette and wheel of cheese for $11 and then we sat at the Eiffel Tower for three hours and watched the sunset. Both there and at Sacre Coeur (awesome place overlooking the city where we went the first night) men walk around selling beer and wine. Heineken for $2 and bottles of wine for $10 wasn’t a bad deal. This is definitely the way to drink and eat in the Summer… or just pregame.
Meghan may murder me
If somebody asked me to name three things I’m good at I would say mental math, cooking tacos and getting under Meghan’s skin. I’d imagine they’ll all come in handy on this trip, but lets focus on the last one for now. In the first 72 hours of this trip I received “the look” between 6-8 times (if you know Meghan, you know this look) and was flat-out told to stop talking at least another three times. My skill is both a blessing and a curse.
We handle ourselves differently when we’re bored and there is nothing new to talk about (being together 24/7 exhausts conversation). Meghan is perfectly ok with keeping to herself until she has something thoughtful/insightful to add to the conversation. I prefer to just start mumbling about whatever comes into my head, including but not limited to: random song lyrics, irrelevant facts and the worst of all, asking “what’s wrong?”. If all else fails, poking her usually gains a response.
Any game recommendations for my phone would be much appreciated…
Overall, Paris was great and I would definitely like to go back some time when I’m not on a tight budget and we’re not staying at the smallest Airbnb ever
Rapid fire deep thoughts
- What’s a Frite?
- I hope I’m not being charged ATM fees
- I don’t understand fashion
- Still water being more expensive than sparkling is silly.
- What’s the point of the Eiffel Tower?
- I should have gotten different socks.
- I’m ready to be at a beach.
- We should all just speak one language.
- Americans really are annoying.
- Service is incredibly slow over here.
- Europeans make conversation very well.
- I think I’m going to like meeting people in our Airbnb’s
- American culture is everywhere.