French Sign Language, the Eiffel Tower, and the Metro


20170525_080045Morning arrived mercilessly yesterday. Six hours sleep in two days isn’t nearly enough. My first thought upon waking is that I really needed to come back to the hotel early and sleep like 14 hours straight and get over this jetlag.

I’ll tell you upfront, that didn’t happen.

The morning started out with an excellent cup, well, more like several excellent cups of coffee and a fruit cup (the only non-gluten, non-dairy breakfast choice).


I also enjoyed my first day of “travel hair” as I’ve taken to calling it. Trust me, it didn’t look nearly as nice by the end of the day, and in fact this is the best it looked for the entirely of the trip. I may be setting a new record for frizziness.

After breakfast, we all gathered in the conference room for our daily French Sign Language lesson.

I really enjoyed learning LSF (langue des signes francaise).

I found the number system much easier than ASL, although the two-handed nature of it is difficult at times. I did struggle with following when the instructor was showing us LSF signs as opposed to actually communicating in ASL. My ASL vocabulary still has big holes in it, so many times I couldn’t say which language he was actually using.

We had lunch at an Italian place where I experienced my first of what is sure to be many language misunderstandings. Where I thought I was ordering BBQ chicken, a meal I can eat, I ended up with a BBQ chicken pizza, a meal I pretty much can’t eat at all, unless I want to be miserable and in pain all night.

My own fault, though, so I picked off the chicken and tomatoes and ate them and topped off with fruit bar I brought with me as a snack.

Around 4-ish we all headed out into Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. Part of our class lesson during the morning was learning how to use and navigate through the Paris Metro.

I’ve never been on a subway before so it was yet another new experience for me.

The tour eiffel was as impressive the second time as the first, but the crowds were so much worse. I’m glad we trekked across Paris to see it the night before.

We rode the elevator up to the first stopping point where I attempted to Facebook Live the experience and lo and behold, my internet was horrible and I couldn’t keep signal. The jokes about not having cell signal on the world’s most famous cell tower ensued.

Regardless, the views of Paris were breathtaking. First, Paris is huge! (Don’t I feel like a country bumpkin!) Second, I was shown where our hotel is in relation to the tower, and whoa.

We then took the elevator to the tip top.

That was a slightly terrifying ride. It just kept going and if you looked down, which was difficult because we were packed in like sardines (something I am since realizing as a norm), but not impossible, you could see the ground getting further and further away. Cue the fear of heights.

Once up top, I again tried to do a Facebook Live, and again had serious signal issues. Oh well. The view was beautiful, but in truth, I enjoyed the view from the lower level more. I’m weird that way.

On the ‘first floor’ I discovered some pretty cool interactive things.

A few things stood out most.


First is this sign showing the way to the restaurant, translated from French to English for everyone’s convenience.


Second, is this sign that I fought through a throng of people and held up the flow of bodies just so I could sign KISS in front of it.

And thirdly, is the glass floor that I bravely (for about 8 seconds) stood on. Yes, I am as freaked out as I look and yes I did it anyway.

I refuse to live a life dictated by fears.

Once we finished with the tower, we bussed to an area called Cluncy where we had dinner. After my fruit cup breakfast and miniscule lunch, I was famished. Thankfully, we found a decent place where I was able to order a fish plate and for the first time since arriving here, I was actually FULL.

Cluncy was pretty cool, too! Another Clemson student and I decided it looked like a French Diagon Alley. Unfortunately, I only took a few pictures. Mostly I took video and I’m too cheap to pay for a premium blog so I can’t upload videos.

We finished dinner at like 11:30 pm. Seriously.

Dinner here is no joke. It’s long and involves much socializing.

To get back to the hotel, we (five of us) decided to try the metro on our own, which was an adventure. Five so exhausted-we-laughed-at-everything Americans navigating the Paris Metro in the middle of the night.

We made it back to the hotel long past my intended bed time but I wouldn’t trade the day for the world. Unfortunately, I had the worst time sleeping and only managed to get about 3 1/2 hours before waking up half zombified an hour before my alarm was due to go off this morning.


I totally get it now.

One thought on “French Sign Language, the Eiffel Tower, and the Metro

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  1. This is so interesting! I never really realized the differences between ASL and LFS and other sign languages around the world. Sometimes the ingenuity of the human mind amazes me, and the study of all languages written, spoken, and signed fascinates me.

    I’m also enjoying reliving my Paris experiences through your blog as well–last summer I went to the Tour Eiffel, but the glass floor was already closed as we arrived rather late. I doubt I would have lasted much longer than 8 seconds myself, so I applaud you for that!

    Enjoy the rest of your adventures!


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