Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Le Jardin Des Tuileries

I exited the métro at Concorde and came up on the rue de Rivoli. The first entrance into the gardens was right next to the Jeu de Paume. The sun was really warming things up and there I was, still in my winter coat and scarf.

Le Pavillon de Marsan, a wing of the Louvre, seen from the Tuileries.

I walked slowly and took some photos, then sat down in a chair for about ten minutes to soak up a little sun. I thought about going into the Jeu de Paume, using the museum pass, but the exhibit they had didn't really attract me as much as the brilliant weather, so I walked on.

Policemen on horseback.

There were so many people out walking enjoying the space and the weather. Almost every other voice I heard was speaking English, and mostly American English at that. I thought that money was tight these days?

Beautiful sky with leafy tree.

I was kind of surprised by one guy who was standing next to some riding ponies with his wife and daughter. The pony guy was off having a smoke, but came running up when he saw the family there. The father pointed to his daughter and asked, in English, "Is she big enough to ride one of these?" No "excuse me," no "bonjour," no "parlez-vous anglais." He just assumed that whomever he talked to in Paris would understand his English. And, of course, the pony guy answered him back in English. Gotta make a euro, after all.

Lots of pigeon roosts statuary in the park.

But still. It doesn't take much of an effort to muster a little "bonjour" before you dismiss someone's language in his home country. They must sell little phrase books at Borders or Barnes & Noble or wherever people do their guidebook shopping these days. Or at the very least, something could be found on the internet that would help one sound just a little polite in the country one has chosen to visit. But apparently not for this guy.

Looking back toward the Arc de Triomphe.

Oh well. It's a losing battle, I know. I continued my walk until I passed one of those unbelievably expensive rip-off cafés in the park. I was thirsty, so I sat down and had a Perrier. I won't tell you how much they charged me for it. But it was refreshing and worth it.

One of several cafés in the garden.

More tomorrow...


  1. Don't get me started on tourists who don't learn hello, please, thank you, do you speak English? in whatever language they are visiting. Lonely Planet even has mini books with ALL the european languages for people going on crazy tours so there is really no excuse.

  2. The average English tourist abroad makes me cringe. I quickly learned that if you are polite and have a try at speaking their language, the French are on the whole really appreciative and helpful. Sadly, the Brits are just as rude at home too - no "hello, how are you, do you have any...." from the average person. Just grumpy rudeness.

  3. For many years I helped lead groups of high school students on study-travel tours to Europe. I always stressed that in France you always greet people when you enter a shop or a room, there is always a "merci" and preferably a "merci, madame" when you leave a shop, etc. They soon caught the rhythm of it, were greeted and treated very well in return, and recognized and welcomed back wherever they went. Jean is quite right about the French, and I adore the place.

  4. I so agree. Time was, it was what you did in shops in the UK as well - and if you're wise you'll still do it out of the big cities.

    Here's hoping the weather lasts for this weekend - I'll be in Paris myself.

    (This word verification thing mu be psychic - the word is "trottie", which is exactly what I'll be over the weekend - unless I'm on a bike, of course).

  5. Shane and I took my triplet nieces to Paris last year for their high school graduation. I want to go back with just Shane soon. It is so romantic, and your pics are beautiful.

  6. rochelle, it's the least they can do.

    jean, in the US I found that it's one extreme or the other. People are either very rude or so insincerely sweet and polite that either way, it drives you nuts.

    muzbot, and I'm sure that Paris misses you.

    autolycus, I'm afraid the forecast for Saturday is not very encouraging.

    mark, you should definitely visit again. And let me know when you do!

  7. Oh this makes me crazy. I don't understand why Americans act this way. It is so embaressing to the rest of us. I once heard an old song on NPR that goes "....why is it those that shouldn't travel do?" Why didn't this couple just save their money and go to Disneyworld? Yes American boorishness is alive and well.

  8. linda, there's no telling!

  9. I was in Paris this month and I'm afraid I was often rude. I would try to say nothing at all, get flustered when somebody spoke to me in French, and only occassionally managed even a bonjour or merci. But I found Paris to be similar to New York City where you would not exchange pleasantries with everyone you pass on the street.

  10. robert, don't worry. Just a simple "bonjour" is all it takes. But it's not for people on the street, it's for shopkeepers and merchants or anyone that you're about to interact with. And a "merci" or "bonne journée" at the end is good, too.


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