We'll Always Have Paris - Sharing Sweet Memories...

By
Home Stager with Transition Stage LLC

After quite belatedly reading a Sunday Times article (from weeks ago) called Lost in Paris, I found myself re-living some of my favorite Paris moments and thought I'd share one with you.

After visiting Paris several times on my own and with a friend, I took my younger sister there for her 40th birthday. I had received a legacy from my dad and I knew this would be a treat that she wouldn't think to give herself.

We had lots of fun, and Kate enjoyed all the places I was able to show her in my most favorite city in the world. We did quite a bit of shopping, and I realized I had gone overboard and wouldn't be able to fit everything into my suitcase. Off to La Poste (the post office) I went, where I bought several good-sized boxes to send things home to their ultimate recipients.

 

La Poste

 

When I came to pack up the boxes, I suddenly realized that I didn't have any tape. A quick check at the concierge's desk found only skinny little scotch tape. Out my window, I could see a small stationery store across the street. My window of opportunity was closing, as I had to prepare the boxes, get them to the post office, and then come back so we could be on our way to the airport.

My encounter with Madame Le Stationery Store went like this:

Judy, with a big smile of greeting: "Bonjour! Parlez-vous Anglais?"

Mdme, with a certain coldness: "Non."

Judy, mumbling to herself: "Hmmm. Is there anywhere in my brain the French word for tape? Tape. Hmmm."

Mdme, with a certain sarcasm: "Ah. Le Scotch."

Judy, suddenly hopeful, and a bit giddy: "Ah! Bon! Mais... le tape pour les boites... pour La Poste... pour Les Etats Unis?"  (My Fractured French attempt at saying I needed tape for boxes to go in the post on their way to the U.S.)

Mdme, happy to conclude this bizarre enounter with yet another American tourist who doesn't speak her language:

"Ah. Le packing."

Relieved and happy, me with my packing tape, and Madame, satisfied with her successful conclusion to this sale - and no doubt glad to usher another "Have a Good Day" American from her shop.

And so, off I went to my hotel, where I prepared "les boites... pour La Poste... pour Les Etats Unis" to my family and friends, who were very happy when their lovely yellow La Poste boxes arrived, containing little surprises for them.

 

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Rainmaker
777,901
Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

Bon Jour, Judy.  Great story.  I am pretty sure I would be thrilled to find La Poste in my mailbox, too! 

 

Oct 21, 2011 08:46 AM #1
Rainmaker
618,030
Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

How fun...Paris is on my bucket list for sure!   Reminds me of my trips down to Mexico during the days I lived in California...where there is a will there is a way to make yourself understood  LOL

Oct 21, 2011 08:49 AM #2
Rainmaker
236,637
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Ron - Bonjour!!  Yeah, it's a pretty cool thing, I have to say. I mailed one to myself and I loved getting it.

Oct 21, 2011 08:49 AM #3
Rainmaker
236,637
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

HI Deborah - Paris is a must-see. It's just so gorgeous. If I could figure out how, I'd love to live there for a few years. It's really true about making ourselves understood - we just find a way.

Oct 21, 2011 08:51 AM #4
Rainmaker
2,140,411
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good morning, Judy....what a nice story.....just be glad it was only tape that you needed....

Oct 21, 2011 09:18 AM #5
Rainer
421,810
Peggy Chirico
Prudential CT Realty - Manchester, CT
REALTORĀ® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate

Hi Judy - For a minute, I thought she was going to give you a bottle of scotch! That wouldn't have been a good thing to go in La Poste! I just got back from France and I love it--language barriers and all. I hope you had a great time!

Oct 21, 2011 09:29 AM #6
Rainmaker
236,637
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Barbara - LOL!!  You're right - could have been quite a trial if it was something a bit more obscure.

Oct 21, 2011 09:35 AM #7
Rainmaker
236,637
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Peggy - If we had gone another couple of rounds, I might have needed a shot of Scotch! I love Paris, and every encounter is fun in some way. This one cracked me up.

I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit there, too.

Oct 21, 2011 09:36 AM #8
Rainmaker
436,720
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Judy - Le shopping, le parking, le hotdog...  English has wormed its way into the French language.  Too funny.  What an encounter!  There's nothing like a snooty Parisian to put one in their place!  Don't get me started on the Waiters! 

If you haven't already, you MUST see Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" - You'll love it, fellow francophile.

Oct 21, 2011 10:08 AM #9
Ambassador
2,027,921
Chris Ann Cleland
Long & Foster REALTORSĀ®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Cute story.  Language barriers can be troublesome to overcome in a pinch, but thank goodness you and your madame did it.

Oct 21, 2011 10:25 AM #10
Rainmaker
236,637
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Sally - You're so right! It's quite comical all the English phrases that are just about everywhere in Paris. And you're right again - I LOVED Midnight in Paris. When the movie ended, I turned to Herb and said, "Let's stay and see it again." - while the people behind us said, "Let's go to Paris NOW." It's just that kind of movie.

Oct 21, 2011 04:43 PM #11
Rainmaker
236,637
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Chris Ann - Thank you. Somehow, we managed to get through and I came away with the tape I needed.

Oct 21, 2011 04:44 PM #12
Rainer
408,559
Gary Coles
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Judy,

Great story about Paris. I've only been there once and I want to return.  I was lucky -- all the people that I met were warm and friendly (honestly)).  My first trip to France - well, that was a much different story.

Oct 21, 2011 10:11 PM #13
Rainmaker
405,646
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Judy, Love your adventure and the purpose was the best, time with a sibling!

Oct 22, 2011 12:26 AM #14
Rainmaker
236,637
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Gary - Thank you! I have to say that most of the people I met in Paris were quite delightful. I'm glad you had a good experience there, too.

Oct 22, 2011 11:14 AM #15
Rainmaker
236,637
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Ellen - Thanks!  It was a very special time.

Oct 22, 2011 11:15 AM #16
Rainmaker
670,719
Liz Wallace
Century 21 Sherlock Homes - Rockville Centre, NY
Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N

Always great the see your smiling face on the blog board.  When I went to Italy I thought that if I at least made an attempt to speak Italian, then people were more helpful, except once on a bus, but that's another story, as they say.

Oct 23, 2011 07:39 AM #17
Rainmaker
236,637
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Liz - Thank you! I think what you say is very true - it seems only polite to at least try to speak the native language, even if it's only "good day" and "thank you."  And, of course, there are always a few exceptions along the way.

Oct 23, 2011 08:01 AM #18
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Judy Klem

Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties
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