it was fun living here for a year, we met a lot of great people, enjoyed your food and drinks, i surfed my arms off and we learned how to speak a little bit of your crazy language. unfortunately it’s time for us to vamos, but we will return, and to borrow a term from a friend, “we will revenge! power!”
paris was fun, but different than i had expected. the mental image that i had of paris was in black and white with curvy narrow streets, ivy climbers, and women in the 1920′s smoking cigarettes with the extenders. i don’t know where i got that from but in actuality paris has a lot of really huge streets with lots of cars, and is a really large european city with lots of museums, sights and tourists. there are more charming parts of the city, but it was different than i had pictured. one surprise for me was the eiffel tower. it was really cool to see, and there were thousands of people hanging out in the park leading up to the tower. paris is definitely very grand.
paris has 20,000 bikes at more than 1500 docking stations spread throughout the city and it’s awesome. the bikes are total grocery getters: basket, “girls” frames, a million pounds, 3 speed hubs, giant springy seats, pink and green children’s-style graphics, plastic fairings over the bars and generator lights. they cost 1 euro per day and if you return the bike to a docking station within 30min you aren’t charged anything more. so while exploring paris, we would take out some bikes, ride until we saw something cool, drop off the bikes at a station, and then walk around. it was really convenient and almost perfect. the only snag was when we’d show up somewhere and all of the docking stations were full, then we’d have to go to the next station and hope that there were open spots. i think something like this could work well in large-population, dense cities in the US. i’d love to live in a city that had bike sharing like this. *it seems to be etiquette to rotate the seat backwards at the station if there is a problem with the bike.