Elsabeth’s Guide To …

Ah, Gay Paree … home of Moulin Rouge, Lido, Le Chat Noir, silly singers, crazy drivers, triumphic arches, metal towers, artistic folk, wine, gorgeously smelly cheese and sweeping visions of crinolene dresses.

Squat toilets … they still exist.  Yucky. 

Lack of toilets … go before you get to Versailles because the queue for the loo is only a mile or so long.

Don’t forget to look at all the pretty pictures in the Louvre whilst on your way to gaze at the Mona Lisa … it will take you so long to see the damn painting that you won’t get a chance to look at any of the others on your way out because you really won’t have time.

Oh, you thought it was big?  It’s miniscule.  You could fit it in your handbag.  If you so wished.  And men with bald heads will obscure your view and ensure that you get a photo of nothing but their head where Mona Lisa’s smile should be.  And other men will clap their hands at you and shout, No No, when you take a picture.  You may take a photo of all the expensive paintings in the Louvre, but not that one.  Goodness knows why.  That’s the French for you.

Failure to take your French/English dictionary will result in you floundering to remember your GCSE French whilst the French laugh at you.  Yes they can speak English.  But they won’t.  Again, that’s the French for you. 

Yes, I exist only to please myself and refuse to speak French when I know that they can all speak English … but that’s the British for you … *laughs*.

It was a joyful experience and fun to go with The Mumsy.  One day I intend to let The Blokey whisk me away to stay at the Ritz and sample evenings out at Moulin Rouge and Lido, with dinner thrown in at the most expensive and popular restaurant [book three months in advance] on the second level of the Eiffel Tower.  However, this is simply a dream that will never be realised in its entirety unless we have the fortune and luck to win the lottery.  Or save up for about twenty years.

Ooh look … some photographs

Have you ever had those moments where you suddenly feel incredibly guilty?  You meet up with a friend for a liquid lunch and a gossip.  Then you decide to go shopping.  You’re in a department store looking for knick-knacks for the home because you have lots of vouchers to spend.  Up the escalator you go.  As you approach the top another friend appears at the summit of the going-down escalator.  Sheepish looks pass between you and the friend you had lunch with.  Mumbled pleasantries pass between you and the friend that you didn’t invite to lunch. 

We had no reason to feel guilty.  I had only just got back from Paris late on Monday night.  We’d arranged lunch yonks ago.  I was due to meet Mumsy shortly so she could bring me back here.  We don’t always have to go out in a big group. 

But I know that I would have felt really sad if I’d bumped into two of my mates and they were ever-so-slightly merry.  I would have felt scorned.  Lonesome.  Inadequate.  Especially when one of them couldn’t look me in the eye.  Still, it could have been worse.  We all could have been out, except her.  

Sometimes it’s just nice to spend quality time with someone when you usually see them with lots more people around.  It’s not a crime and I shouldn’t feel bad about it.  I’m just thankful that I won’t bear the brunt of it on Thursday night when they all go out … *grin*. 

It’s like being a teenager again.

please God bless the guilt-fest i ride in on xxx Elsabeth


  1. ahh yes, that was how i felt at the louvre also. so so little time, so so many things. didn’t know about the restaurant in the eiffel tower though.
    as for seeing friends out in the wild… yeah. does suck. i haven’t had it happen very often, though, and since i’m not too far out of being a teenager it’s pretty easy to revert.

  2. Ha, I had the same experience with the Mona Lisa.  Not to mention some kind of chronic lower back pain whilst walking round the Louvre.  Ah, memories.  I loved Versailles, though.  Very pretty. 

  3. Thank you for sharing that experience. If I ever go to Paris, I’ll remember that advice. As an American, I guess I don’t comprehend this French-English thing. I dated an English man and he’d suddenly morph from normal man to insane “the world is ending” shower of obscenities “bloody hell no” angry man if I even stood in front of a French restaurant, going, “What about French tonight? We haven’t tried dinner here.”

  4. I read “squat toilet” and that’s all i need to read…lol…reminded me of my indonesia trip. 
    So whne are we gonna get to see you??  c’mon at least a silouette or something…=P
    I’m still around, my dear, just less frequently and most likely during late nights like tonight.  =)

  5. Great pics! Funny that… taught French all year, and yet have never been to France. I guess Quebec will have to suffice!
    I do know what you mean though about the French/English thing. Then you get the other side. “You’re Canadian? You were born in Montreal? Oh, then you know French! Here… teach this!”
    Um… no! Best I had was GCSE French as well… or rather, Grade 11 French! Hehe… made for great fun! It’s over now at least!

  6. I think I’m glad I have no idea what a “squat toilet” is.
    I attempted to see your pictures but it crashed the computer here at work so I’ll look at them at home when I can.
    How exactly does one “write American?”  I need to rectify that problem.

  7. I enjoyed your pics! And while looking at them some men came by the terminal and started watching the slide show.  When your “metal tower” pics came on, one of the guys was like, oh is that that leaning tower thing.  Scary isn’t it.

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