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.
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.