I LOVE FRANCE

I had every intention of telling you about how freaking wonderful Munich is, and how beautiful the weather was, and how much I enjoyed walking along its quaint little streets. Oh, and how well organized, easy, and efficient its underground is! And how everyone just assumed I was German, until I had to reveal I wasn’t in order to pay for my soft Pretzel (mmmmmm). I have great pictures for you, and great things to say about Munich. But right now, all I want to talk about is how much I LOVE Paris!! I love it. All I’ve done is wander along its streets, stopping every now and then to snap a picture. I love cities. I love wandering around cities. I love wandering around Paris. I love, love, love this city!

I have so many great things to say and pictures to post that I hardly know where to begin! How about with today? Highlights:
I ran into an acquaintance from Salt Lake City! A guy from my ward whom I didn’t know well. He was standing outside a store with a camera around his neck.
I have this game I play when I travel–it’s especially fun in Europe–called “Spot the American” and whenever I correctly identify someone as ‘American’, I win! It seems like a boring game that would get old fast because of course it’s always the fattest, loudest, worst-dressed people that are the Americans (sorry, fellow citizens, but these Europeans are a slim, stylish bunch) and spotting them is like spotting a kool-aid stain on a white polo. But I don’t spend much time in touristy areas (read: places with lots of Americans) and so the game maintains its appeal.
So, I spotted the American loitering along the sidewalk and then realized that wasn’t just an American–that was a UTAHN. Whom I KNEW. But how? And what the crap was his name?
I stopped right there on the street, not 5 five feet away, and pointed directly at him.
“You.” It was all I could say, since I couldn’t remember his name or how exactly I knew him.
For a second he looked alarmed, and then recognition dawned and he said, Yeah, I do know you from somewhere–as though he was answering some unasked question.
And then I remembered! A roommate of a friend from the ward. (I still couldn’t recall his name.)
Yep. That was it.
Turns out he was on vacation with his mom! SLC flights directly to Paris, you know. Oh, and his name is Steve.
I never get tired of these small-world incidents.
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I visited 11 Rue Jacob today. I know that doesn’t mean anything to you, but it’s haunted. I know that because I’ve listened to this story 13 times (iTunes play count!) and decided it made a much cooler landmark than the Eiffel Tower, which I didn’t visit.
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I ate a fabulous French lunch today. It was expensive and fancy and had an entree AND a main course. (Who even knew an entree wasn’t a main dish?) Anyway, it was superb, expensive, downed with Evian, and didn’t cost me a cent. Bada. BING.
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That’s why my job is awesome. It pays me to travel to cool places and eat lunch on other universities’ dimes.
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It also gives me a per diem–a daily allowance–for food and transportation. I haven’t wanted to take the time to sit down and eat a proper meal (too much to see!), so instead I’ve just bought lots of ice cream. If you learn only one word in French, learn this: glaces.
Mmmmmmmm.
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I still haven’t eaten a croissant πŸ™
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I visited Notre Dame today.
It’s so beautiful.
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Tonight, my pre-dinner gelato cost a fortune (3.50. EUROS!) but it was chocolate and raspberry and shaped like a flower! A scoop of chocolate in the center surrounded raspberry petals. I’m so sad I didn’t discover that place last night.
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I’m really proud that no one speaks English to me. It means no one assumes I’m American. In my book, if you can pass for local in TWO European countries, you are a legit traveler.
(This rule doesn’t apply in the Middle East.)
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I have work to do now. The rest of the week is work and travel and business meetings, and then it’s back to the office.
Hm. Come to think of it, I think I’ll just take a bath instead. I won’t get another vacation until November and I think I need to take advantage of this night.
Plus, I went to Sephora tonight. That bath cube ain’t gonna dissolve itself!
More to come,
Paris Paris Paris!

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