Saturday, September 4, 2010

Paris and the culture shock!

Have you really planned well? Think again, if you don't speak French, you can easily get lost here. After buying like what seemed to be the train tickets to Paris from an automated machine, we accidentally disabled them by walking in out of the ticket protected area of the station! oh boy! €17 down the drain? The people at the kiosk were kind enough to speak English, we were on our way!

The metro system is really good - but only after you get a hang of it. The tickets that we bought were supposed to take us all the way downtown, but not knowing that we were trying to buy a transfer ticket when a proactive old man saw us blank faced at the ticket counter and set us on the right course before we boarded the subway! The people are very nice too! Thanks mystery old man, you saved us some money and a lot of time.

The noise level is amazing, like New York! People are loud and happy - on the subway, on the street, in the cafe! It really reminds me more of Bangalore atmosphere than anywhere else. The subways and the streets are crowded, with tons of people everywhere. Living in the US, we had forgotten how it feels to be surrounded by so many people. Even though we had read about all of this, experiencing it is a whole different matter altogether.

Smoking is as common as chewing gum! Out of the airport, the smell of smoke is everywhere. Both of us being non-smokers, it was a bit overwhelming. The crowded cafes where the tables are so close that if you are not careful, you can knock a glass on the next table (well, Madhu actually did that :) ), it is hard to ignore the smoke right next to you!

People sit at the restaurants for hours, enjoying each others company, with no sense of urgency whatsoever! This was a nice change from our regular lives where going to a restaurant was really just to eat!

We are really liking Paris so far.


  1. good.. Thanks for the updates..try and get the 3 days or 4 days pass if that you dont have to buy it far i know it is available...or get a daily pass which is valid for both subway trains and bus..

  2. good information. i am trying go through in detail about the subjects you have referred. On the face it it is interesting