The driver spoke no English. I speak no French, worthy of mention. That worked out fine. To my “Je m'appelle Bellerose,” he replied, “Enchanté” and already I was out of my depth. I have learned not to use a well-practiced French phrase as an introduction. This only encourages a spew of French that I have no hope of understanding. Get the language barrier, if there is to be one, out of the way first, then sprinkle the polite ouis and mercis with abandon.
Traffic was a horror. Both Obama and Putin were in town, though got no invite on AF1. (Obviously, the NSA knew I would be here.) The Americans are still determined to milk the liberation of Paris for all it's worth, though no one I know liberated it and no one they know was freed. Perhaps its time to call us square with Lafayette.
The city is more beautiful than I remembered. The Airbnb apartment…not so much. A dingy 5th floor walkup to a garret in desparate need of IKEA love. Rod is appalled. Looks like a local hotel and a forfeit of prepaid rent. However, it was almost worth it to discover the district called “Saint Germain.” We may never stay elsewhere else, though at the end of this trip, we will. We are a short walk from the Louvre and the Musee D'Orsay.