By Jay Fidell
We left the protestors doing their thing in Turkey and headed off for the orderliness of Paris. That's ironic, because Paris is where street protests originated, and the streets of Paris are by no means a study in orderliness. They have their own kind of commotion. It's all a street scene, everywhere.
A word about Paris - diversity. So much of it, in the people, the dress, the food, the architecture, the things to do and places to go, and for that matter the thinking. You can't not love Paris. There's no place in the world that offers so much to the visitor.
It's a true walking city and with that a perfect tourist paradise. They know, and care for it with that in mind. We walk down the street, engulfed in it. I listen to 101.1 FM, with fabulous classical music. The music is somehow part of the street scene. Every block is an adventure, with delights around every corner.
IWe take the Metro up and down the line, almost at random, knowing that wherever we go there will be eye candy waiting for us. We eat and drink our way around the city. Every time we feel thirst or hunger or need to sit down, we stop where we are, safe in the assumption that all the restaurants are good. And they are.
We fall into museum after museum, finding new aesthetics, new history lessons, in every one. We are never disappointed. We are in an envelope of gemutlichkeit and we don't need anything more than what we have right here, getting up late every day to a raft of discoveries we never anticipated.
But it can't go on forever, if for no other reason that the prices are in Euros and with the exchange rate it's a deep breathing exercise. You could go broke here. Every meal is in multiples of what it would cost in Hawaii. Everything in the stores is priced at far more than we would pay at home.
(You know what they say: The best things in life are free; the second best are very expensive.)
We like to go to the opera, but after some calls we found that the seats to Julius Caesar at the Garnier go for 180 Euros, and that means $270 per seat or $540 for the evening, even before dinner. As much as we'd like to go, that's too much, so we skip it. Maybe we'll capitulate tomorrow, but I doubt it.
Food, shopping and opera in Hawaii are looking better and better. But yes, there are things we could learn from them about being a tourist paradise.