15 April 2009

The French Are Nice

Contrary to how the world sees them, the French are not rude or snobbish. At least that's how I see them. Or maybe I'm just too numb or that I refuse to see the rough side of the coin. Or as Timi's boyfriend pointed out, maybe because I'm a girl and men tend to be nicer with women. But really, I've been staying here for 3 months but I haven't really encountered an in-your-face rude French. Oh well, there's one...when I went out with Timi and her boyfriend to this bar, a waitress(I'm not even sure if she's French) rudely threw the menu list into our table. A shock? No. I've seen worse in other parts of the world.

When I was new here and my friend Anne and I went out for Marais for the first time, this guy next to us offered to take picture of us, without us even asking to. Occasionally, there are people offering to show directions when we seem lost. There are also those who ask directions even though I look as though I don't speak French or English at all.

They're also quite forgiving when it comes to my broken French. Some even make an effort to speak English. During my flea market trip up north, the merchants were entertaining my questions and some even commended the little French that I know. So far, I was well received in hotels on the 5th and 6th arrondissements during my flyer distribution quest . Surprisingly, the receptionists were able to understand the crappy French that I was saying.

Yes, the world has seen the rude and the snobbish French. But I'm sure it has also seen the good French-the French who say "Bonjour" everyday that you see them, the French who bump you but say "Pardon", or the French who invite you for dinner. The thing is, we expect too much from the French and we tend to overanalyze them. Although they own the Eiffel tower and many of the most beautiful structures in the world, let's not forget that they are people too. Just as in any race, the French consist of different people with different stories behind them. Is it not enough that they have opened their door to immigrants like me. So what if they don't smile at strangers. I don't even smile at strangers in my home country. I've also realized that it's quite difficult to smile during cold seasons. Besides, I find it really scary if a stranger smiles at me for no apparent reason.

While you're trying to argue with my point-of-view, you might as well check out the Top 10 Myths About France and the French People.

10 April 2009

Les Salons

PRÊT À PORTER PARIS® should have been the first trade show I would have attended in Paris. But the date of the event coincided with my job interview and French classes. But that's just an excuse. In truth, I didn't want to let go of my 30 euros for the entrance.

Then came Mess Around-another cool display of fashion paraphernalia. It was free but i got lost looking for Docks de Paris Porte de la Chapelle. When I finally found it, I was already seeing logistics teams packing up the goods.

Oh well...

While initially it was a series of comical unfortunate events, I was finally able to see glimpses of les salons in Paris, albeit of the more alternative nature.

Tmode Le Salon des Créateurs de Mode was held last March 20-22 in Espace d'Animation des Blancs-Manteaux. It was an event held for 90 créateurs of clothes and fashion accessories. It kinda reminded me of Manila's bazaars, but in a more specific level. Entree Libre
Cocktail Creatif was held in a smaller venue in 70 Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud. It was a showcase and sale of goods from six créateurs. ENTRÉE-LIBRE as well.
Le Salon du Vintage was obviously for the vintage lovers. Held April 4-5, it was a meeting place of vintage collectors and enthusiasts. Two floors of 81 rue des Archives were filled with rare vintage pieces from names such as Chanel, Pierre Cardin, Hermes, etc. Cool place, cool music, cool people. It is definitely an event for the spring-break tourists. But since I am not a tourist, a 5 euro-entrance fee wasn't worth it. It paled in comparison to the gem finds in the North flea markets and the Tripp shops around Paris.