Sunday, February 05, 2006

Notre Malamute

Notre Dame - M & Bondi  Notre Dame - Bondi
No rush to rise this morning, with the temperature sitting around minus three. Our first job was to find a car-park attendant to quiz about the procedure for getting a monthly ticket. Chris managed to discover that these had to be obtained on a Monday, and wrote out some text for me to use then when I had to re-explain my needs.

Luxembourg Gardens

After a short meander Louvre-wards, I took Chris & Bondi for their first jaunt across the Seine, through the Île de la Cité and down the Boulevard Saint-Michel towards the Jardin du Luxembourg. Much of the gardens are off-limits to dogs, although the sign-posting is far from clear. A lady officer blew her whistle loudly from across the gardens when we ventured unwittingly from one unmarked zone into another. Chris apologised and I tried to make a point about the park map not indicating anything (I had looked, but it seems you have to infer something from intersecting lines on gates into the park) and some mumbled franglais about "C'est confusing" which she took good-humouredly. Even Chris faltered as well yesterday when swamped by rapid-fire French, defending himself with "Je suis Anglais. Je ne comprends pas l'Anglais."

Chris ¦ Paris 003 Chris ¦ Paris 031
After that we circled back through Saint-Germain and stopped to graze on some salade chevre chaud and then it was back to the Île and the cathedral of Notre Dame, which I must say seems much less impressive after 2 months of cathedral-stalking in Spain. Some guys had lined up closely-placed inverted cups on the road and were roller-blading between them.
Notre Dame - Chris & Bondi  Notre Dame - Roller Bladers  Notre Dame - Chris & Bondi
Immediately outside the cathedral, Bondi started picking up a little crowd: some American tourists came up and started asking questions loudly in English, without making an attempt to speak French. We were learning that if we kept walking, then we got no questions, but as soon as we paused, then the inevitable questioning begins. If we can't understand the question, then we usually just say Malamute, which either satisfies the interrogateur or cues them to ask in English. Then it was past the Hôtel-de-Ville, where a seasonal ice-rink is situated. Again, Bondi started attracting children, like lint to velcro.
Hôtel-de-Ville - ice skating - Bondi  Hôtel-de-Ville - ice skating - BondiHôtel-de-Ville - ice skating - Bondi  Bondi with statues at Les Halles
After that we circled Le Marais, passing the Pompidou Centre on the way back to Les Halles. Chris, when not being extremely "ferny", was helping my fragile French along with constructive critiques "that sentence had more grammatical errors than words". Over lunch I got a vocab quiz, which included me rendering "lettuce" as "nous permittez" (my poor attempt at “let us” = “nous laisser”). Laugh!? we almost did.

Hôtel-de-Ville - ice skating
We collectively recovered our energies back in the studio, then set out along the nearby Rue Montorgueil for some take-out.

2 comments:

  1. Chris3:23 am

    In my defence, the sentence to which you refer did only contain two words, and they were the wrong way round, and something else was wrong, and so didn't want you to think it was right but didn't want to demoralise you with lists of faults. I felt my comment was the only kind way to let you know :-)

    I ferny!

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  2. Chris3:30 am

    Oh, and I think we should recruit anyone who'll listen to changing the pronunciation of "Merci beaucoup", which is far too long and involved, to the delectable new "Moeky boeky" (you have to say it fast).

    I still ferny!

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