"Tahiti! Tahiti! Tahiti!"

Trip Start Aug 27, 2005
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Trip End Sep 11, 2005


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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Marseilles, France

Things We Did:

Walked along Port Vieux (The Old Port) and checked out the fresh fish market

Walked up Le Canabiere eastward into Marseilles classic shopping district

Explored little side streets and browsed through stylish boutique shops where Joey tried on tailor made French suits and Camille brushed up on her Lingua



Camille and I found an Asian inspired shop while the rest of the gang sat in a street-side café for some drinks, (beer for the boys and a cup of French coffee for Mei)

Went deeper into the side streets trying to find something to eat

Food We Ate:

The best Pizza we had in Europe was in Marseilles (mozzarella with mushrooms and olive oil, tomato sauce with kalamata olives and anchovies, mozzarella cheese with diced chicken and herbs).

People We Met:

Everyone we met in Marseilles was unbelievably friendly. Mei and I discovered that if we smiled at passersby, they would nod and smile back. We found that they all greeted us with a friendly "Bonjour". Responding to them in English was fine, but you could see that they were pleased if we gave a nice "Bonjour" back. Other words we used quite frequently were "Merci" "Au revoir" "Oui et Non" "S'il vous plait" "Je vous en prie" and "Pardon". At first she was nervous, but eventually Camille rocked her French.

Suit Man- A very friendly French Salesman who picked out a couple of suits for Joey to try on. At first glance, he assumed we were from Aotearoa, but was just as pleased to find out we were from Hawaii. Seeing that a couple of us wore Quicksilver apparel, he asked if it was a symbol of our "country".

Japanese Salesgirl- A quiet lady who worked in an Asian inspired shop. She spoke French with a thick Japanese accent.

Shoe Lady- She cried out "Ooh la la!" when Camille spoke to her in French and told her where we were from, and after having no success in finding shoes that would fit Keoki, she told him to stop eating.

Pizza Boy- Quick, street side, deli-style service with a smile. He popped out our pizzas as soon as we fired our orders. The place was hopping, and we couldn't speak a lick of his lingo, so Camille had to order for all six of us. It was so good that each of us ordered twice, with a line gathering behind us. There was opportunity for frustration but the kid handled it with style.

2 French Kids- I sat on what seemed to be an abandoned doorstep to enjoy my fresh pizza and the door behind me opened. Out stepped a boy and a girl, hand in hand. As they strolled by, they glanced up at us curiously, and then continued on their way. The little girl turned around and flashed us a quick smile. Mei immediately fell in love and followed them up the street to get a picture with them. As we sat back down to finish our pizzas, the kids came back hand in hand. Mei took the opportunity to take another picture with them. With the camera on, the girl looked unsure, but as soon as it went down she'd smile happily.

2 French Bums- One old, one young, both crazy. As we walked by, the old bum yelled out to us, "Tahiti! Tahiti! Tahiti!" The two of them then began to slap/box/wrestle/kick one another, laughing the whole time.
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