Thursday, January 21, 2010

Arriving in Paris

france-eiffel-tower last time I came here it was one year ago, it was late 2008, by car, but this time I decided to take a flight to this beautiful city. While waiting in the airport to get picked up I thought of writing this post. Paris is one of the cities I like to visit on regular basis. I never thought of moving in and live in it, but I just like to visit it at least once a year. Such trips intrigues me to check out what changes took place, on its people, the way everyone lives…etc

After I took my bag and went through customs the first thing I decided to do was to go outside and have a smoke before I came back in this huge waiting hall to start writing this post.

First observation is seeing English language adverts on different places hanging around the airport- it seems that Sarkozy’s love and affection with the US and its language has made its effect on the way French who are known for their pride of their language change the way they advertise for commercial products.

I remember seeing English language banners and adverts in my last visit and I discussed this with my people here, but it was way less to see compare it to this time and what I have seen in the past hour or so.

The trip to Paris from Amsterdam was smooth, it is only 1 hour and a half so no one would notice anything, especially people like me who like to read while going on trips. By the way, this is the first time ever that I resist what I call a personal ritual that I used to follow every time I travel: to buy a book or a magazine, maybe because in the back of my mind I thought of the length of the trip, as I said, it is just a matter of an hour and a half, or less maybe, The Guardian newspaper was sufficient as a substitute on this trip.

Talking about travelers, it sometimes surprises me when hearing two people talking non stop while on a trip. It is just amazing the energy that some people have to just talk and talk and talk with no pause in between and no care for others who, for example want to sleep or want to have some quiet time reading something. It is normal to talk, to have a conversation with your travelling partner, but to have a continuous conversation with comments on that person and the other in low voice, and in Dutch, this is some kind of annoying. Besides, who said that Dutch language is a secret language, did they think that no one would understand them? I thought half of the airplane have Dutch passengers on it.

Back to the airport, not a lot of people like to visit Paris at this time of the year, I guess, and this might be the reason not seeing a lot of people around. I don’t know if this has something to do with the economic crisis, or whether the winter-crisis that hit northern Europe had its part here too.

Actually, where I sit it looks like a train station or a big bus terminal to me, more than an international airport.  The lighting, the shops, even the faces of people roaming around, it doesn’t look like an airport.

And for the last 5 minutes, I don’t know who is the hell is fiddling with the main microphones. On the main loud speakers everyone can hear the cracks of the microphone being moved, like a cleaner is wiping the table and moving the microphone around while doing his work.

OK, that’s it for now, going for a smoke.

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