Europe Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Trip Report 클락카지노후기≪♨≫SKT110.CoM≪♨≫리얼카지노사이트
  2. 2 Trip Report 카지노사이트제작■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■코리아카지노む코리아카지노
  3. 3
  4. 4 Trip Report vip카지노예약■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■온라인카지노グ온라인카지노
  5. 5 Scandinavia Itinerary help!
  6. 6 Trip Report 카지노시티■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■온라인카지노추천ち온라인카지노추천
  7. 7 아시아카지노【KBK99。COM】혼롬바카라づ전통카지노
  8. 8 Trip Report 세부막탄카지노■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■온라인바카라ほ온라인바카라
  9. 9 Trip Report 정통카지노■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■생방송카지노が생방송카지노
  10. 10 Trip Report 바카라하는법■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■온라인바카라주소お온라인바카라주소
  11. 11 Trip Report 바카라동호회■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■라이브바카라ツ라이브바카라
  12. 12 Trip Report 합법카지노■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■인터넷카지노주소ガ인터넷카지노주소
  13. 13 Trip Report 정선바카라양방■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■마블카지노ま마블카지노
  14. 14 인터넷바카라【KBK99。COM】함께카지노づ세븐바카라
  15. 15 Trip Report 몬테바카라■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■온라인바카라주소ゥ온라인바카라주소
  16. 16 바둑tv =홈피:〈""〉추천인:지퍼
  17. 17 신천지온라인 ≪ 접속주소 :≫≪
  18. 18 아시안바카라【KBK99。COM】혼롬카지노づ바카라대박
  19. 19 포커족보 =홈_피:【""】추천인:지퍼
  20. 20 아시안카지노【KBK99。COM】바카라쿠폰づ모바일카지노
  21. 21 Trip Report 필리핀카지노■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■인터넷카지노추천い인터넷카지노추천
  22. 22 Trip Report 한게임바카라■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■온라인카지노추천ろ온라인카지노추천
  23. 23 Trip Report My Topic Title애플카지노사이트■※■『SKT600.CoM』■※■온라인카지노え온라인카지노
  24. 24 릴게임손오공 ▼ 접속 :≫≪
  25. 25 아시아카지노【KBK99。COM】바카라제작づ모바일바카라
View next 25 » Back to the top

Trip Report My summer in Paris

Jump to last reply

First of all - a big thank you to all Fodorites who helped to change my initial reluctance to a great big YES. I am glad that I have accepted the offer of a month-long home exchange with people who live in Villeneuve near Paris.
Let me start off by describing our place for this precious month. We have a 4-bedroom house in a very ordinary street.
A big supermarket is perhaps 200 meters down the street. I love shopping here – not a tourist in sight. Compared to where I come from, there is an immense selection of wines, cheeses, breads, pastries … I queue behind a worker in blue overall buying lunch. He pays for a meter-long baguette, slices of ham, a small cheese, an apple and a small bottle of red wine. And I remember a similar worker in my city, who bought a loaf of white bread and a Coke.
Our hosts drove 45 minutes to meet us at CDG airport. We exchanged photos before the time, and we easily found them in the crush. They took time to show us their home, then left. This sounds less complicated than it was. There is, of course, the language issue: I speak no French, my DD knows a few survival phrases, they have very little English. We got on splendidly. A 15-year old cousin was brought in to translate. She did this patiently and with good humor, passing orders and requests to and fro. Assorted members of the extended family came to meet us. There was the one moment when six people quite literally talked to us at the same time, arms waving, and DD and I (jetlagged) just stared!!
We did try to type our messages on Google Translate, but this did not work when we went out into the (somewhat neglected) garden. She has a few herbs – we did not need words when we stood there crushing and smelling the thyme and mint. There is an abundance of cherry tomatoes, and one of my great joys is walking barefoot in the early mornings and picking a little white bowl of tomatoes for breakfast.
They are Muslim, the woman of the house is originally from Algeria, the husband is French. Some family members wear the headscarf; some do not. They cannot be kinder or more accommodating. After exchanging phone numbers in case of need, they all left. Silence reigned.
Our house is next to a cemetery. It looks peaceful and very neat. No loiterers or homeless people as you may find in my country. Fresh flowers on graves. Our neighbor has a very black cat. This cat has four almost-grown kittens; two black like the mother, two dark grey. They seem to prefer our garden to their own. Early the first morning, when I went down to face the unfamiliar coffee machine, I could not help laughing out loud when I looked out of the window. Five dark cats were sitting quietly in the early-morning dusk!
The neighbours are friendly and kind. I could not get the coffee machine to agree with me, and I mailed our hosts with questions. Within the next hour a neighbour rang the bell at the gate, with two of his sons he came to investigate. He cannot say more than ‘coffee’ and ‘machine’ in English, but we kindly beamed at each other. The 5-year old does not mind that I do not react, he loves chatting to me. When I look away, he softly touches my hand and keeps on chattering away in French. We really tried, but could not get the machine to work – even after phoning our host and discussing the issue in great detail. I typed on Google Translate to say that we will survive. Later that afternoon the same neighbour with wife appeared, bringing a new coffee machine for our use.
The home has everything that we need, and more. A comfy mattress, a nice bath, an outside patio (with one mosquito included).
The butcher and baker are 7 minutes away, on the way to the station.

Problems: the fact that I do not speak French does complicate things. I can be polite and say hallo and thank you, but that is about it. People are remarkably patient with me.
The commute is time-consuming. This is just a fact. Usually it should take +-35 minutes to get from our station (Orly Ville) to the station at Notre Dame. With the construction work of the moment, it takes an hour. I do struggle a bit to navigate this fascinating city. Thanks to everybody who sent the links to the SNCF site and the interactive map!

More to follow later …

160 Replies | Jump to bottom Add a Reply
160 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.