Wednesday, August 03, 2005

vivi's helpful hints

  • If you're the conductor of a train traveling from Troyes to Paris, and the train, not in front of you, but the one in front of that, dies, please be kind to your passengers. Don't give them false hope that you will be only an hour late, when in fact you will be two hours late, significantly shortening the amount of time they will have to do lovely touristy things.
  • Please remember that once you set foot in the American Consulate, you are indeed now on American soil and not French, so when paying (the outrageous sum of) $30 to have something notorized (which is free if you're actually in the states) , please remember that using the bankcard with your husband's name on it and the signature wiped off just will not work. Also remember to stop at an ATM, because they do not accept checks.
  • Be sure to bring a friend with you who has the sense to travel with cash and is willing to spot you, so you don't have to go through the hassle of leaving the Consulate to look for an ATM and starting all over again. Make sure you thank her profusely and buy her lunch.
  • If you work at a restaurant in a touristy part of Paris, and your job is to intice passersby into dining in your establishment, it is not wise to yell "waassap homie!" to passersby you suspect are American, because they will only snigger as they walk away.
  • When dining in a very good Chinese restaurant with your friends, it is perfectly acceptable to celebrate the fact that you are eating very good Chinese food, which you haven't had in a very long time, with ecstatic moans and exclamations.
  • When visiting a Canadian bookstore, take care with your oversized bag, so you will not accidently topple over a tall pile of books, which would be very embarrassing indeed.
  • When strolling through Paris when you have a limited amount of time, be sure not to pass a church which is advertising that they will host a performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons that very evening, as you will be very sad and jealous.
  • When stopping for gelatto at a very lovely ice cream shop, please remember that your eyes are always bigger than your stomach, and take the smallest cup, instead of the next biggest one, even if you're taking sensible flavors like chocolate and mint, and not wacky (but perfectly tasty) combinations like pina collada with mint.
  • Upon leaving Paris, try not to be too sad that the day went by too quickly. Try to remember that you only live an hour and a half away by train (well, usually; see first item) and there will be plenty of opportunities to visit the City of Light in the future.

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