Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
88Trip End Jun 04, 2006
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For all it's galleries, museums and entertainment spectacles, Paris for me is about being outside and appreciating the carefully laid out city where so much echoes the grandiose, slightly bellicose charm that is unique to the French national identity and character
By late afternoon, I headed off to see my friends in the West of Paris which is so calm and tranquil by comparison with the centre. The first task was to go with Geoff to find Pere Noel for Tom and Jane in the local Christmas market. I can imagine that if the kids want to see Pere Noel everyday, it must be a bit wearing for parents, but today it was just so cute to see the look on the kids faces as they sought out the big figure in red and white to touch his arm and whisper in his ear.
Meanwhile, my aunt and parents were missing their Eurostar back to the UK - the last of the day. I still don't know quite how this happened, but it appears to be a common occurrence amongst visitors to Paris as the Eurostar staff calmly switched them onto the morning train without a fuss or additional charge. I gather they spent an interesting night in a local hotel. And to think I missed it all!
I was quite happily relaxing with my friends, speaking hybrid English/French with their kids, and visiting the frost covered local parks which was an entertaining challenge to get my head around. I speak English and they reply in French. It's interesting too to see the difference in development between brother and sister. Everyone I know who has bilingual kids has done lots of research on how to develop multi-lingual children and other than patience, the conclusions seem to differ considerably. Is the truth that the psychologists and linguistics experts haven't quite figured out an answer to this one - if indeed there is such thing where language exists.