See you in France

Got a tick­et booked for France in the Fall. Instead of stay­ing in Paris, I’m going to be liv­ing with Frédéric and Misun in the town of Chartres. That way I’ll save mon­ey on acco­mo­da­tions, since the train goes to Paris every hour, only takes an hour, and is much cheap­er than a night for a hotel there.

With three weeks booked, I know I’ll be able to go at my own pace in the city, with plen­ty of time to spend with Frédéric, Misun, and the boys too.

books on France

These three Frommer’s books came in one pack. I was hap­py to find one that focused on Paris alone.

My French com­pre­hen­sion has rust­ed to the point of being non-exis­tent, so the dic­tio­nary and phrase book seemed like a good idea too. It’s filled with hilar­i­ous pho­net­ic pro­nun­ci­a­tions, like “ehs-kuh tueh praw~ lah peel-uel” for “Est-ce que tu prends la pil­lule?” or “Are you on birth con­trol?” in the Getting Intimate sec­tion. I would­n’t be sur­prised if Paris was the only city to have this sec­tion, which includes trans­la­tions for “Harder!”, “Faster!”, “Deeper!”, and “May I come inside?” (although I sus­pect the last one isn’t exact­ly the mean­ing I’m think­ing).

Paris Moleskine

I also bought this Paris Moleskine, embossed with the city’s name on the spine. It’s over­priced for a note­book, but worth it for the con­ve­nience. Contains con­densed ver­sions of all the most use­ful infor­ma­tion, includ­ing num­bers for trans­porta­tion com­pa­nies (includ­ing air bal­loon!) and city maps.

Paris Moleskine map

At the front is a fold-out map of the metro.

Paris Moleskine loose notes

These loose notes are also per­fo­rat­ed so you can tear them out while main­tain­ing a clean cut. This idea must have been from an over­stock of acid blot­ting paper from Frommer’s less legit­i­mate busi­ness­es.

Paris Moleskine measures and sizes

There’s even a small ruler on the oth­er side.

Paris Moleskine tabs

About half the note­book is orga­nized with these lit­tle tabs, for “Places, leg­ends, recipes”, “Bars, winer­ies, and sto­ries”, “Places, dreams, adven­tures”, “Names, faces, encoun­ters”, “Info, shop­ping, art”, and “Books, movies, music”.

Paris Moleskine tracing paper

In the back pock­et (found in most Moleskine’s) is a set of extreme­ly sheer trac­ing paper (for trac­ing over maps and like), and a set of labels for cus­tom tabs.


  1. Be care­ful and take LOTS of pho­tos!!

    • I’m def­i­nite­ly going to be doing lots of shoot­ing. I plan on pick­ing myself up a spare bat­tery and a few extra mem­o­ry cards.

  2. What was the “May I come inside?” trans­la­tion??? Make sure you eat some god damned mac­arons in my hon­our!

    • It’s “Puis-je entr­er?”. I fig­ured it was­n’t what I thought it was cause they have anoth­er trans­la­tion for “You want it on the face or stom­ach?”

      • Gak.

      • Okay, I may have been mak­ing up that last one.

  3. This is per­fect! I know you’ll take fab­u­lous pics and catch me up on what I missed — I did­n’t make it to Chartres last year, I was Sooooo exhaust­ed.

    My great­est phrase advice: “Lessez-moi tran­quil, s’il vous plait!” will dis­patch most any pick­pock­et. Used it! Works! And the only place you’ll need it is where there are hordes of tourists, because that’s where the pick­pock­ets hang out.
    You’re going to LOVE it, have you been before?

    • Really? I thought pick-pock­ets worked sur­rep­ti­tious­ly. I’m still try­ing to fig­ure out a way to keep all my impor­tant stuff out of my pock­et.

      I’ve nev­er been to France, which is why I chose to go there this time. Also why I’m SUPER EXCITED.

      • The street crime in Paris is not like American street crime as I know it. Where I come from, it’s smash and grab, or point a gun at you.

        In France, it’s lit­tle kids or teens (sad­ly, often Romany gyp­sies) that come up and talk to you while they pick your pock­et — it’s planned dis­trac­tion. So all you have to do is be on the look­out for it. They’ll ask you a ques­tion, ask you if you dropped some­thing, try to present you with some­thing where your hands are busy, like that. It’s all con jobs.

      • Wow, that real­ly puts the cul­tur­al dif­fer­ences into per­spec­tive. Even the crime is a lit­tle more civ­i­lized over there! My Frommer’s book does cov­er bad areas and how to avoid get­ting ripped off or pick-pock­et­ed. It real­ly does cov­er every­thing.

  4. comme je suis tres tres jalouse!

    i loved paris. would die to go back again. maybe some­time soon.

    can’t wait to see your pho­tos.

    • I can’t wait to see my pho­tos too. :)

  5. Nice! You have to vis­it the Catacombs… it’s a very unique expe­ri­ence!

    My fav Paris pic from our week­end-only trip (went for wife’s bday heh): :)

    • Very nice! Thanks for shar­ing these, because it gives me an idea as to what cam­era gear to bring. And you flew her out for her birthday…she’s a very lucky girl.

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