Under the Paris Sky: My Trip to France - Part 1 Paris (CORRECTED)

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Jul 3, 2015 22:27
It was early this year that the idea of taking a vacation and visiting France came to mind. It had been a long time since my last trip overseas. For a number of years, traveling outside Japan hadn’t even crossed my mind. Sitting on a plane for 10 to 12 hours certainly hadn’t been very appealing to me.

However, interacting with people on Lang-8 has steered my interest toward foreign countries. Deciding the destination was easy. I chose France, as I had just started learning French.

Six months and a whole lot of preparation later, I was on a plane bound for the Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. I’ll never forget how I felt walking out of the terminal with my big suitcase. I began walking toward the sign that said “Paris par train (Paris by train)” with calm excitement. That was the very start of my unscripted vacation.

In the next few entries, I’d like to share with you my experience in and thoughts about France. This is part one of the series.

In Paris, one of the most picturesque cities in the world, what impressed me first and foremost was how large the sky was. With no skyscrapers, it looked 50 times larger than that of Tokyo. From a distance, you could see the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral over the Seine. The landscape is one of the city’s greatest virtues. It is very wise that the City of Paris imposes the strict height restrictions.

Under the clear blue sky, I felt so euphoric that I couldn’t help waving to passengers on the Bateaux Mouches. ( I got some waves back.)

Very few people would disagree that every street in Paris is photogenic. There were no convenience stores and vending machines as bright and colorful as neon signs, which are on every block in Tokyo. Perhaps convenience stores do exist in Paris, but they must be well blended into the surroundings. If you get thirsty, you can stop at one of the vendors on the street selling sandwiches and drinks. They are, along with the kiosks with magazines, newspapers, and post cards, all indispensable parts of the landscape of the city.

They must have been there for the past 20 years and will probably be there for the next 20 years. It's a stark contrast to Tokyo, where there is constant demolition and re-construction. In Paris, a new, modern building is the last thing you want to see.

I should add, though, as far as the cleanliness on the streets is concerned, Tokyo has far less litter.

Instead of Starbucks (Are there any in Paris?), local cafés are where people have coffee and meals. I looked at the people sitting alone at terrace tables with envy. I wonder if someday I’ll be able to sit on one of those terraces and order a drink in French by myself.

To be continued in Part 2:http://lang-8.com/997612/journals/246306677733176440332754523748880385070
(This entry has been corrected and revised. Thank you very much for your help!)
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Original before correction:
It was early this year when an idea of taking a vacation and visiting France came to my mind. It had been a long time since my last trip abroad. During a number of years, traveling outside of Japan had not crossed my mind. Sitting in an airplane for 10 to 12 hours had not been very appealing to me.

However, interactions with people on Lang-8 steered my interest toward foreign countries. Deciding the destination was easy. I chose France as I had just started learning French.

Six months and a whole lot of preparation later, I was on an airplane bound for Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. I won’t forget how I felt when I walked out of the terminal with a large suitcase. I began walking toward the sign that says “Paris par train (Paris by train)” with a calm excitement. That was the very start of my unscripted vacation.

In the next few entries, I’d like to share my experience in France and my thoughts with you. This is the part one of the series.

In Paris, one of the most picturesque cities in the world, what impressed me first and foremost was how large the sky was. With no skyscrapers, it looked 50 times larger than that of Tokyo. From a distance, you could see the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral over the Seine. The landscape is one of the greatest values of the city. It is very wise that the city of Paris imposes the strict height restriction.

Under the clear blue sky, I felt so euphoric that I couldn’t help waving to passengers on Bateaux Mouches. ( I got their wave-back.)

Very few people would disagree that every street in Paris is photogenic. There were no convenience stores and vending machines as colorful as neon signs, which are at every block in Tokyo. Perhaps, convenience stores do exist in Paris, but they must be well blended into the surroundings. If you get thirsty, you can stop at one of the vendors on the street selling sandwiches and drinks. They are, along with the kiosks with magazines, newspapers, and post cards, all indispensable part of the landscape of the city.

They must have been there for the past 20 years and will be there for the next 20 years. It's a stark contrast to Tokyo, where there is constant demolishing and re-construction. In Paris, a modern new building is the last thing we want to see.

I should add though, as far as the cleanliness on the streets is concerned, Tokyo has far fewer litters.

Instead of Starbucks (Is there any in Paris?), cafes are where people have coffee and meals. I looked at the people sitting at a terrace table alone with envy. I wonder someday if I will be able to sit at a terrace table and order a drink in French by myself.

To be continued in Part 2:
パリの空の下 -フランス旅行記 パート1
休暇を取ってフランスを旅するという考えが浮かんだのは今年の初めだった。最後に海外旅行をしてからかなりの年月が経っていた。長いこと海外を旅行しようなど思ったこともなかった。10時間、12時間を飛行機の座席に座ったまま過ごすなんて苦痛だと思っていた。

しかしLang-8で人々と交流することで、私の興味は再び海外へ向くようになった。フランス語を学び始めたばかりだったので、行き先は簡単に決まった。

さまざまな準備に明け暮れた6ヶ月間の後、私はパリシャルルドゴール行きの飛行機の中にいた。大型スーツケースを引きながら空港ターミナルを出た時の気持ちを忘れることはできない。静かな興奮を胸に、私は「パリ行きの鉄道はこちら」の標識に向かって歩き始めた。筋書きのない休暇が始まった。

これから先の数回の投稿では、フランスでの経験と休暇中考えたことについて書きたい。これはそのパート1である。
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パリは世界で最も絵になる都市の一つである。まず印象的だったのは、パリの空の広さである。高層ビルのない空は東京の50倍広く思われた。遠くからでもセーヌ河の向こうのノートルダム大寺院の尖塔を見ることができた。素晴らしい風景は都市の大きな価値の一つだ。パリ市が建物に厳格な高さ規制を課しているのは非常に賢明である。

空は雲一つない青空。私は至福を感じバトームーシュの乗客に手を振らずにはいられなかった。(数人が手を振りかえしてくれた)

パリではあらゆる通りが絵になるというのは、ほぼ共通した意見だろう。ネオンのように色とりどりのコンビニや自動販売機などは見当たらない。東京では至る所にある。パリにもコンビニエンス・ストアはあるのだろうが、周囲に上手く溶け込んでいるに違いない。喉が渇いた時には、サンドイッチや飲み物を売る路上のお店に立ち寄ることができる。路上ではこの他にもキオスクで、雑誌や新聞、絵葉書などが売られている。みなパリの風景には欠かせないものとなっている。

それらのお店は20年も前からそこにあったに違いない。そして20年後も変わらずそこにあるだろう。東京とは正反対だ。東京では常に新しいビルの建設、古いビルの取り壊しが行われている。パリで最も目にしたくないものは、現代的な新しいビルだ。

しかし、通りのきれいさに関して言えば、落ちているゴミは東京の方がはるかに少ない。

スターバックスの代わりに(パリにスタバはあるのか?)人々はカフェでコーヒーを飲み軽食をとる。一人でテラス席に座っている人がうらやましかった。私もいつかは一人でテラス席に座って、フランス語で飲み物を注文することができるだろうか。
パート2に続く:http://lang-8.com/997612/journals/246306677733176440332754523748880385070
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