It’s now less than two weeks away that I’ll be traveling back to Paris, so for the public transportation prompt today we have the Paris Metro. Well, not the actual subway, but the sign that marks an entrance. I typically shy away from anything with letters in it, so I decided to give this a go. And it’s the primary way of getting around in Paris cheaply and efficiently so I’ll be seeing this sign quite a lot soon. Although there’s an occasional issue, you can usually count on waiting only three minutes before the next train arrives. I was there on my birthday a few years ago and had fun getting off at various stops, arriving in completely different neighborhoods that I’d not visited before. Philippe was still working there at the time, so I was on my own a lot during the day. I love getting lost in Paris, but as long as I can find an entrance to the Metro, I know I can always find my way back.
When I first met Philippe, I began to study French and although I got rather good at reading it, actually speaking the language was a complete loss. No matter how I pronounced anything, it was nearly always guaranteed to be wrong. I spent months watching online videos of people trying to explain how to pronounce the French “R” in hopes I might be able to perfect it. Instead of sounding like a native, I sounded more like a chain smoker just getting over a bad head cold. I thought, perhaps then, I could simply make a concerted effort to avoid words with an “R” in them, but that proved stupid and absolutely impossible. Since that time, it’s been over two years since we’ve been back and I’ve not practiced my French at all.
With less than two weeks to go, I’m starting to look at those French lessons again, but it’s far too late to do anything meaningful. Thankfully, when I’m there and traveling underground, simply seeing the sights, I’ll never have to talk to anyone at all. This is the part I’m looking forward to most. The inevitable interactions with people there, on the other hand, are going to be perfectly awkward and thoroughly embarrassing as always. Maybe one day, I’ll finally figure out how to speak the language without sounding so ridiculous. Until that time, you’re far more likely to find me quietly observing everything from a safe distance. I’ll be sketching there for the first time now, whenever I can, while heading underground every so often, to travel by Metro.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Gamboge, Pyrrol Red, Cobalt Teal, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!