Petri Wessman's weblog

Back from Paris

Ok, that was a nice trip. Paris was very pleasant, and (unlike the stereotype) the locals were nice and friendly. Our hotel was well-situated near Bastille, and there were tons of nice small restaurants within walking distance. We did most of the “must see/do” stuff; went to Notre Dame and climbed into the belltower, clambered through the Catacombs, wandered in the Louvre, visited Versailles, checked out the Père Lachaise Cemetery and the tombs of Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison… stuff like that. The weather was mostly fine; it rained on Friday but we spent most of that day in the Louvre anyway.

Things have changed, languagewise. When I was there last, as a small kid traveling with my family some 30 years ago, I don’t remember all that many people speaking English. Now, even though I got by surprisingly often on my extremely basic-level French without having to revert to English, every time I did ask “do you speak English?” (in French, of course), the answer was “yes”. I suppose this only holds true in the Paris region, and mostly for the younger folk, but still… the city is nowhere near as hostile to non-French-speaking visitors as I was afraid it would be. Most everyone was very nice to us. I’m not sure if the fact that I at least tried to use French as much as possible had anything to do with that, but anyway…

The city remains beautiful, as much as a big city can be that. Lots of old buildings, small crooked streets, etc.

I’m glad we went. Even though it was just a short trip, I felt like I had been away for a much longer time and it felt like a real vacation. In addition, it was also our wedding anniversary, so Paris was quite suitably romantic. :)

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Flee to France!

A quick “what’s up” note, this. Ropecon 2008 came and went, I had a lot of fun despite getting very little sleep. The traditional big VTES tournament was a success once again, I now have a tournament report available for that. The other highlight of the con, for me, was managing to attend Greg Stolze’s demo of his new game, A Dirty World. It was actually the first convention rpg game that I have ever attended, and boy was it worth it. Besides being a kick-ass game designer, Greg proved to be a very cool guy and extremely competent GM. I had a ton of fun playing a heroin-addicted femme fatale…

The rest of the week has been spent in recovery, of sorts. Janka and I are both on vacation now, so we’ve just taken it easy for a while. That said, it feels like it’s been an extremely busy week, I’ve continually been doing something and feel that I managed to only do a small portion of the stuff I had intended. So it goes.

We decided that we needed a short break from all this, so we booked a flight to Paris – leaves tomorrow morning, back on Saturday. It’s been… what, 30 years since I was last there, so I don’t remember much anything, and Janka’s never been there at all. So we’ll spend three days doing the tourist things (Louvre, Notre Dame, the Catacombs, etc) while trying to get by on our extremely limited French vocabulary. Should be fun. I’m trying (in vain) to remember the basic rudiments of French verbs…. and since I know that’s doomed to failure, I’m taking along a phrase book and trying to resist the urge to go for a Monty Python French accent.

Back by the weekend.

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