On Navigating Paris
To navigate my way around Paris, I’m using a traditional paper map and the Google Maps app on my smartphone. I decided not to purchase a data plan for my smartphone because it’s expensive. Plus it’s easy to stay in touch with friends and family via Signal or Facetime, and I can access the Internet at my apartment. Also, I discovered that it’s possible to use Google Maps when my phone is in airplane mode. It’s a convenient feature! I downloaded a map of Paris on Wi-Fi, and I’ve been able to use the map offline, too.
Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t prevent me from getting lost. Yesterday, I got lost two times; on the Right Bank when I was trying to find a CrossFit gym and on the Left Bank during my evening walk. Last night I needed help finding my way home, so I asked for it. I was in the seventh arrondissement when I spotted three police officers on a street corner. I walked up to them and said, “Pardon, parlez vous anglais?”
One of the officers spoke fluent English, and the others spoke a little bit of English. I explained where I needed to go, and the officers started talking in rapid-fire French, arguing about the best route to take. Once they reached an agreement, I thanked them profusely and started walking to my tiny apartment. I got lost again, so I asked a taxi cab driver for help. Thankfully, I was only three blocks from my little home. Technically, I got lost three times yesterday.
Everyone I've encountered in Paris has been incredibly friendly and kind; especially considering that my French is terrible. I understand words and phrases in French, but I'm unable to string sentences together. The last six months of French lessons helped me in many ways, but I still have a lot of work to do. I'm grateful that the English speaking police offer and cab driver helped me find home!
To celebrate my safe arrival home, I ended the day with a simple, yet yummy dinner; a fresh baguette that cost 1 Euro, fruit, bread, cheese, and ham, along with three tiny chocolate ice cream filled macaroons. They were decadent and disappeared from my to-go box too quickly.
Cheers to getting lost, asking for directions, and finding macaroons along the way!