Sunday, 30 March 2008
"It's every girl's dream to visit Paris!"
My little niece who gushed these words was visiting us this week, and the heat was on (not weather wise, as it was damp and rainy). She had such high expectations of Paris; I was already worried about her disappointment. Not that Paris isn’t wonderful, it’s just that when a 10 year old arrives with such big expectations, there’s no way it can measure up, I figured. But I was wrong.
I greeted little A at the airport, and without having much sleep, she was full of questions. “How do you say `I would like a vanilla ice cream cone, please’?” she would ask, and then would quickly jot down the answer in her journal/ self made dictionary, along with many other entries. “Merci beaucoup, Madame,” she could be heard saying when interacting with French women (and with me- very darling).
People seemed to really appreciate that she was speaking French, and she received a lot of positive attention and goodwill from people. She is now among the artists to have a painting hanging in a café in Montmartre. Waiters charmed her as she charmed them.
While touring the Louvre, A, along with her brother and cousins, was intensely involved in drawing a sphinx as well as an Egyptian tomb. They copied some hieroglyphics off of a mummy case.
From their home, A and her family had done their homework. They knew what they wanted to see, had practiced saying things like “please”, “thank you” and “excuse me” and brought books like The Louvre up close which had the kids looking for fun details in paintings.
Even A’s little brother loved Paris. While sitting in a café with the awning separating him from the drizzle, little F. belted out over his chocolat chaud “I love France!” No dampened spirits here.
This family has done its share in promoting Franco-American relations. And more importantly, Paris lived up to the very heady dreams of a 10 year old girl.