Find Joy in the Blunders

Find joy in the blunders, find joy in the blunders…

Paris is dreamy with its dazzling tower, glistening lights, decadent food, and cozy cafes. Even the rain is romantic. Yet let’s be real. Paris isn’t perfect and neither are we. Here’s one of many posts devoted to our blunders, our mishaps, our unusual observations, and our causes for concern…all of which have added just a touch of spice to an already amazing story…

Paul likes to say that I’m the paranoid one. I’m a constant worrier, I’ll admit. Yet the night he thought he ordered a $2,000 or $200 bottle of wine (he wasn’t sure which) to go along with a simple dinner of French onion soup and cassoulet, I think we both had plausible reason for concern. The waiter’s reaction to our choice from the wine list was one of, say, shock, followed by a simple, “that’s a very good wine”. Paul sweated it out for a few moments, conveying to me that he was a little confused by the price on the menu. Commas are used in place of decimal points here and the wine he ordered said 20.00, not 20,00. 20,00 means 20 Euros. But 20.00…what in the world does that mean? Let me also add that Paul didn’t share this with me until I was already halfway through my first glass. We spent several minutes discussing how we were going to live with ourselves if we needed to charge a $2,000 bottle of wine, even comforting ourselves by reasoning that $200, while expensive, was at least better than $2,000. And when I just couldn’t take the anxiety anymore, we asked the waiter for the wine list again so we could double check the price. No, it didn’t change. It still said 20.00. So then we asked, feeling rather foolish, what 20.00 is equal to. Larry, our kind and rather patient French waiter laughed and said, “I don’t know. I’ve never seen that before. The person who typed the menu obviously had too much to drink. That should be a comma…”

Find joy in the blunders, find joy in the blunders, and breathe…

I got “tailgated” on the subway today. I’m not subway savvy by any means, but I’m keenly aware of my surroundings and ready to defend my purse at any cost. Today though, while putting my little ticket into the slot in the turnstile, I was pushed along rather quickly and strategically by a young, well-dressed, and attractive young woman. Concerned by her close proximity to my back and my purse, I immediately turned on her while she smiled and nodded and, without any merci beaucoup, got a free ride on my dime! I’ll be honest. I still feel violated…

Find joy in the blunders, but learn a few lessons along the way.

For months now I’ve been scouring popular Paris food blogs, acquiring names of cafes and restaurants that will give me that real Parisian experience. One of the foods repeatedly popping up on my screen was the must-try falafel scene in the Marais district. Falafel is not French, but its wildly popular here, especially in Paris. Of course, I couldn’t pass up the irresistible photos of round chickpea fritters smothered in cabbage, eggplant, and sauces and wrapped in a fluffy pita. So today we scoped out the popular L’As Du Fallafel hole-in-the wall so we could stand in line, wait our turn, and taste what all the fuss is about. Unfortunately though we were attacked as soon as we approached the line. An older man brought us to the front of the line, asked if we wanted two falafels, and demanded 11 Euros. When we expressed concern for cutting everyone in line, he began yelling at us. Paul immediately grew suspicious. Who was this guy demanding our money? Was he really from the falafel place? Did they really cost 11 Euros? Why were we getting served first? In a matter of seconds we were ushered into the restaurant while everyone else waited in line at a window. Paul handed over the 20 Euros, falafels were shoved across the counter at us, and we carefully ate the messy goodness on the side of the street, all the while observing the long line of salivating customers and shaking our heads in disgust. Much later, we realized we only received 7 Euros in change. They short changed us! While their falafel was incredibly tasty, I am disgusted by the way we were treated. I also made a point to search them out on Yelp and found we aren’t the only ones they’ve had the opportunity to abuse. In fact, they seem to love preying on the tourists. They’ve got a whole line of them to choose from.

Find joy in the blunders and go to the falafel place directly across the street. Smile and wave!

Just a couple of important Monop notes…(that would be our local grocery store)…

The “Gourmet Monop” pasta sauce is portioned for one serving of a small bowl of pasta. If you are thinking about coating more than a few noodles with one jar of this “gourmet” sauce, you better think again or, at least be prepared to buy at least 5 jars.

Don’t try to be cute with the cashiers. They don’t think you are the least bit funny, especially when your French is horrid.

And most importantly, super absorbent paper towels disguise themselves as toilet paper. Read carefully and bring a translation book…

P.S. The photo at the top of this post is the actual road where Midnight in Paris was filmed. This is where Owen Wilson gets picked up in the old car each night. Paul took my picture on the steps that Rachel McAdams sits on in the movie. A nice idea but she’s gorgeous and I was just a rain soaked frizzy mess.

That’s one blunder I happily deleted…

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