Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Off to Paris!!!

I have lived in Europe for 7.5 years now, but never been to Paris before. As a kid, I used to gulp up Alexandre Dumas' novels. Guy de Maupassant has always been one of my favourite short story writers. I was introduced to Science Fiction (although I am not a big fan of the genre) by Jules Verne. I have read Balzac, Hugo, Flaubert, Gide. All in translation of course. The only place in France I have been to is Strasbourg, where the local dialect is very similar to German (although they usually hate to admit that). But I have never been to Paris. Not that I don't want to, but because I have always been scared of the French language and the way one never knows how to pronounce a word. What to pronounce and what not to.

For example, the "ll" Marseilles is not pronounced as "l", but the ones in Villepin and Gaulle are pronounced.

Of course everybody has told me that Paris is very touristy, and I won't have a problem. In fact I am staying with locals from Couchsurfing and Hospitality Club, the brilliant organizations which will make life so much easier.
Funnily enough, I wasn't nervous when I visited Italy, Spain or Greece.
I even called up my friend Fabien (who is French, but not from Paris) in the morning and had almost an hour's conversation and he trying to convince me that it'll be good fun. I know it will be. I know there are millions of tourists in Paris every year who don't speak any French. I know I'll have my hosts. But I am still nervous!

I'll be in Paris from today evening until the 25th. In between, I'll stay for two days in Tours and visit a few of the famous chateaux of the Loire valley. and I of course plan to make a day trip to Versailles (another place where "ll" is not pronounced!).
I will try to update my travelogue, but I don't know how often I will have access to the internet.

This is a common post for this blog and also my travelogue.

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