I’ve been in Paris for the last couple weeks, spending time with the engineers I work with. It was a great trip, but I’m also happy to be home in my familiar surrounding… the busy-ness of my home, and the deep deep greens of a beautiful spring.
I spent 2 weeks at a hotel right on the Place de la République, which was an adventure in it’s own right. The Place is about 8.5 acres of open space in the middle of busy part of the city. There is ALWAYS something going on there. Could be demonstrations, could be parties, could be music, could be dancing… for the last weekend, there was a Biodiversity fair where they literally hauled in few acres of sod, grass and plants and make it into a small farm. Complete with cows.
For the last few days, Mariama joined me, and did the sightseeing thing, walking something like 20,000 steps a day for 3 days (OW MY FEET). Gotta admit, the Paris Métro was clean, fast, easy to understand navigate, and EVERYWHERE. You were always a block or three from a station.
I have tons and tons of stories to tell from the trip, too many to ramble about here. But, in my usual style, here’s a bullet list…
- The Eiffel tower is really friggin huge.
- Coffee in the EU is challenging for Americans. I stand by my tweet from a few months ago:
Having spent a week in Paris, I think I have cracked the coffee code, and why American coffees are so huge by comparison. In America, coffee is considered a food. In Europe, it's a medication. #Coffee #espresso #Europe #murrica!
— Dave Shevett (@daveshevett) February 24, 2018
- Did you know Paris is 6 degrees further north than Boston? Yeah, means it gets dark at 10pm around now. Surprise!
- The French know to to make a damned tasty burger.
- The French also really like smoking 🙁
- Contrary to popular perception, most French are pleasant and open and charming. Sure I had my taste of a grumpy personality or two because my french is atrocious, but the VAST majority of people were happy to work a sort of mishmash of english and french that worked well.
- I did find myself missing open green space. The city is very tightly packed stonework, asphalt, and cobblestone. When I spend more time there, I’ll definitely need a way to get out to the parks and trails outside the city.
I’ll be coming back in the fall… looking forward to it!