A little update on what I have been up to:
Last week I had friends galore in Paris. On the Thursday Joe and Laura arrived for a Paris break so after dropping off the girls at school I headed into Paris. Because they still hadn't arrived at their apartment I went and sat by the Canal St Martin to wait for them. To kill some time I began writing a letter to a friend. While I was writing a man (I'd say late 50's) asked if it was OK to sit on the bench by me and I said of course. After quelques minutes of silence he asked if I was a writer. I had to let him down and say no I was just writing a letter to a friend. Which led on to a conversation about my accent, where I was from, what I was doing in Paris etc. A nice chat and then I went back to writing. And then inevitably; 'Have you got a boyfriend in France?' Seriously, every conversation with men in France turns to that at some point. When I said no but I have one in England he replied
'Yes yes but you need one in France so you can learn the language properly.'
'Well I have other people here that I talk to in French...'
'But it's not the same, you need a boyfriend. I bet your boyfriend has someone else back in England.'
I had to force the point that that's not normally how a relationship works and it wasn't particularly nice to say that. He laughed. We stopped talking. A few minutes later he offered me some whisky. I said no thank you. Then he offered me a nectarine. I said no thank you. He began to talk about how he had woken up that day and decided to talk to strangers and break out of his shell. And then he started talking about how he was putting on some bets on the horses that day too. I soon made my excuses and wished him a bonne journée. I don't think he was trying to hit on me himself, just give me some 'friendly' advice. But I've had that sort of conversation a few too many times here, I'm not really sure why. Well, a lot of French men I've met (not all) certainly live up to the stereotype of being womanisers. Just look in the news at the moment too with DSK.
Anyway when I eventually managed to meet up with Joe and Laura, I took them on a whistle stop tour of the Marais including a falafel lunch and then on the the river and Notre Dame. Notre Dame never fails to impress me with its magnificent architecture.
I will continue this in another post, I need a break.