Wednesday, August 18, 2010

paris metro vs motorbike

My son, who is now here visiting for a week, and I just spent the late afternoon at the local garage, trying to figure out why our on-loan Peugeot motorbike has suddenly developed catarrh. Believe me, there are a lot of French words I didn't know before, like les bougies (spark plugs, previously known to me as candles, not automatic for non-automotive me to make that transition) and l'allumage (ignition) and l'ordinateur (computer) hidden under or in la valise, I'm still not sure which. After several hours of prodding and poking at small hidden parts, this all led to the conclusion that it is an electronic problem and requires a Peugeot dealer. Far more interesting to me than motorbike parts were the very friendly gentlemen who worked in the garage and others who, walking by, joined in trying to help solve the problems, both of the motorbike and of the translation. As I was trying to comprendre the word bougie, one gent went to his car, opened his trunk, and pulled out his spare ones in their package to show us. :) We joked briefly about just plugging the engine computer clip into the iPhone, but we couldn't find an app for that. Although we didn't resolve the problem, everyone seemed to enjoy trying. They were très désolés that our vacation was being hampered.

Metro stop at Anvers

While walking the motorbike home, we were glad to find a pizza place that made a huge variety of pizzas from scratch. And they were offering a special, two for the price of one. So we placed our order, watched the cook start forming the dough rounds, then agreed that we would return in the appointed 20 minutes à emporter our take-home supper. Enough adventure for one day.

Since I'm momentarily grounded, I thought I'd share a few more photos of metro signs, since this elegant system which opened in 1900 (about a decade after La Tour Eiffel) remains the mainstay of my transportation around Paris, especially on a rainy day such as Monday was. Did you know that Paris is a compact city of roughly 6 miles north to south and 9 miles across? Nonetheless, there are over 130 miles of metro track connecting all 20 arrondissements and edging into the suburbs beyond the 22-mile Périphérique that encircles Paris somewhat like the 64-mile DC beltway.

Metro stop at Notre-Dame de-Lorette church

Metro stop near Montmartre


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great pictures! j'adore paris :)