Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day Four: English with French Subtitles

26 Dec. 2009

Hey!

…Right, so this is the post I should have written a day ago! :)

[I’ll write it as though today was still the 26th! Don’t get confused about the verb tenses, then. I HAVE WARNED YOU.]

As I mentioned previously, we were planning on going to the flea markets, Musée D’Orsay, and the Eiffel Tower today. {See? That’s where you act like I posted this on the 26th. ONWARDS.} You should have guessed by now, but Dad and I are not very good at planning, so we did not actually accomplish all of that.

However, we did make it to the flea markets! We went to “Les Puces de Paris: Saint Ouen” (“The Fleas of Paris: Saint Ouen”), which is supposedly the largest flea market in Paris. It includes a huge antiques and furniture marché (I keep typing marché instead of market, so I give up. Marché, marché, marché) and countless (really. 1, 2, 3…57…) clothing booths.

In this case, I’m grouping anything that isn’t furniture and/or antiques in with “clothing”, so interpret that loosely. There were booths with chaussures (shoes) and other accessories like wallets, purses, small trinkets, prints, small sculptures, post cards, typical tourist-y junk, and lots of booths with leather jackets.

Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about clothing and such to say if anything was authentic, or if it was stolen (not even kidding). The fakes (of which there were many) were fairly well-done—for example, we saw no less than four stalls selling “Converse” shoes in all sorts of designs and colors, and the tread and boxes and everything looked pretty real to me (and I have a pair).

They had boots for as little as 10€ (YAY EURO SYMBOL! Finally found the Alt control. Geez…); some were cute but nothing was particularly unique, so I didn’t buy anything (I may regret that later, I kinda lovelovelove boots and I’ve been wearing mine nearly every day). [Whoa, that was very ADD.] Anyway, I didn’t buy much.

{Notice the careful wording. “not much” = ONE THING. JUST. ONE.}

The furniture/antiques market was ASTOUNDING, though! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many antiques in such great condition! Some were insanely old, too (then again, Europe in general is old). Everything we saw was veryyyy expensive, but much of it was high-quality, if you ever happen to want a quite-expensive-in-Euros antique something. xD

[Sorry I don’t have any pictures of ANY of that! We really didn’t take any!]

After we got bored of that, we began our search for a cell phone for me. Fnac.com (except they just call it "Fnac”, and that’s pronounced “F-nack”. As in the letter F, nack.)We finally found one (a cell phone, that is) for as-cheap-as-possible. It’s really simple; a tiny Samsung flip phone. We tracked down Mobiho (that’s the name of a cell phone company, just so you know.) SIM cards (that wasn’t easy, I tell you!) so I can call the US for 0,19€/min, but incoming calls are FREE so YOU COULD CALL ME.

(I have a calling card to call my family, but we don’t think it’ll work. SADNESS!)

Unfortunately, the SIM card is only 8€ of calls for now, and each SIM card has its own number attached, so my number will change every time I have to get a new SIM card. I know, confusing and problematic.

Fnac is what you would get if you combined Barnes and Noble and Best Buy and then translated it into French. So, not only did we find my cell phone there, but I bought Harry Potter et le prisonnier d’Azkaban to read. It’ll take me months, but it’s my favorite of the Harry Potter series so I’m looking forward to reading it in my favorite language. And we got an alarm clock—the buttons are all in English, which makes little sense. Not that I’m complaining!

After we dropped off all of our “loot”, we headed over to the Musée d’Orsay, but decided not to go in since we didn’t have enough time to fully appreciate the art. BUT WE ACTUALLY MADE IT THERE THIS TIME, so we did better! Rawr!

At last, we walked/ran/rode a bus for two blocks over to the Eiffel Tower. It’s basically required that you take far too many pictures there, but here’s some of the far-too-many pictures that WE took! (and when I say “we”, I mean “Dad” because I’m too lazy to take my pictures off my camera right now.)

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See? I DO HAVE MY OWN CAMERA!

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I like this picture because it looks purple. xDP1090427

Slightly idiotic expressions are my trademark.P1090431

Dunno why there’s dustiness in this one.

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You can tell by my expression that this is take 4. Also, it was very cold. xD

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The lights were flashing on the tower so you can actually see us well!

As expected, the lines at La Tour Eiffel were long and by the time we got to the first floor (we walked because it was cheaper and we thought it would be more interesting), it was already dark. Then again, it gets dark early here.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the views! (We didn’t get any higher than the 2nd level because we figured that once you get that high, there’s really not much else to see but a further-away view of the same things.)

P1090451P1090455 Montmartre.

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Sacre Coeur. Blurry; I think my picture was less blurry but this camera has a better zoom.

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The lights turned on while we were on top of the 2nd floor :)

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See? Same, just higher.

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I confess, I don’t know what this is, but I like the blur. I think it looks cool. xD

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La Seine

Once we returned to the ground, it was dinnertime, so we took the bus over to Odeon, where we found a tiny Italian place, and had escargots. That shouldn’t need translation: SNAILS! Yum. They weren’t as good as last time, but still good :D

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After we were happily full, we went to see Pas si simple because the lines at the theaters playing Avatar were too long. It was still in English, but it had French subtitles, which definitely weren’t exact. (The title itself is an example of this—pas si simple is literally “not that simple” in French, but the title of the movie was actually It’s complicated.) The French seemed to enjoy the French references… “it’s so very… FRENCH!” xD

{It’s funny; but it had a lot of filler but the cast was well-cast which probably helped it a lot.}

So, that was day four!

Hopefully that made up for my lack-of-post due to Skyping my twin! :)

-Aly