Vocabulaire d’aujourd’hui: lundi, 3 avril 2007

3 Apr


Originally uploaded by commamommas.

premier: first
etage: floor
premier etage: second floor

There are lots of funny differences between the French and American cultures. One is how they count floors. When I checked into the Hotel Marignan, they told me my room was on the 6th floor, which I think it was (coming down the spiral stairs every morning, I kept getting dizzy and losing count). But on Sunday, I moved to the Hotel Studia (due to a booking mistake at Hotel Marignan), to a room on the 7th floor.

See, the French count the ground floor as zero. In fact, in the department stores, there are numbers at the top and bottom of escalators telling you which floor you’re on. 0=ground floor, 1=second floor (to Americans), 2=third floor, -1=basement. -1 is my favorite.

Fortunately, the Hotel Studia has an ascensieur (not sure of the spelling) to the 6th floor, and then I take the stairs up one more.

Since the lines at the Eiffel Tower were so long yesterday (and since I was afraid my gift for Neumann and Liz, who I’m staying with in London, would melt in the nice, hot sun), I decided to get up early this morning, eat breakfast (a croissant and small baguette with lots and lots of coffee), and head over there before it officially opened. I got there at 9:10, it opens at 9:30, and I actually got in the elevator to the second floor (en francais, so second up from the ground) at 10:30.

While there, I realized that the Americans should be so thankful to the Italians. A lot of the Americans I see in Paris are well-intentioned but a bit clueless (I heard one lady referring to Notre-Dame as “the big church.” Victor Hugo would be mortified). The Italians, on the other hand, make me proud to be an American (don’t worry, Greg and Dad, I was already proud to be an American. Cue Lee Greenwood).


2 Responses to “Vocabulaire d’aujourd’hui: lundi, 3 avril 2007”

  1. Erika April 3, 2007 at 5:28 pm #

    Hey, woman,

    This sounds so fun…and so delicious. I hope you do start cookin’ it! If we can get each of our friends proficient in the cuisine of some excellent and exotic locale, well, how sweet would that be? You are making me want to go to Paris in a big way. Do people really let their dogs poop all over the sidewalk and not pick it up? That’s nasty.


  2. nsolis April 4, 2007 at 9:31 am #

    Sadly, there is dog poop all over the sidewalks. Jenni told me that the French word for it is “crut” (once, at a restaurant, she ordered a “crut monsieur” instead of a “croque monsieur.” The waiter laughed.).

    But you should totally go. Just watch where you walk.

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