This blog will not be chronological. I found a list of 200 things to do in Paris. I omitted, edited and relocated many of them. Here follows 50 things on the list and my experience.
1. Walk along the Seine on the Left Bank from Pont Alexander to Ile St. Louis.
The most perfect weather accompanied this day. The left bank contains all the cute stores, book seller and other stuff. The Sein flows and the bridges pass as you walk along it. I bought a beautiful door knocker and a painting during this journey. It was a peaceful, beautiful day.
I repeated this on the last day – breath-taking.
2. Visit the Arab Institute [not the correct full name]
Forgetting that almost everything would be closed on a Sunday I found myself on a train toward the centre of Paris. The guide book said that the Arab Institute would be open on a Sunday. After visiting it I thought that it was ill use of time for somebody currently living in Dubai to visit an Arab museum. Some of the things on display seem exactly like the stuff in my room!
When I left the rain was coming down hard. My memory of Parisian rain is not beautiful, but sad and lonely. The streets where empty and the stores were closed. I bought an umbrella from a newspaper stand and later on a jacket from a souvenir store.
3. Stroll the Champs Elysees for hours and just people watch and go in and out of shops, cafes, etc.
Worst suggestion on this list. It was much more fun finding Champs Elysees than actually being there. It’s busy and crowded and has no cute stores. I did find good lunch thought, just off of Champs Elysees. Steak with strong cheese sauce.
4. Sit in the Tuilleries with your feet up and a good book or magazine or just watch the people.
Jardin de Tuileries. So beautiful. Napoleon’s home is there. The garden was lovely, but I didn’t stay long. The people watching mood didn’t seem to kick in and so I wondered on.
5. Ride the flume in the little carnival (is it still there?) on the edge of Tuilleries.
This was a water ride which I wasn’t prepared for and so I left to wander the rest of Paris instead. Looked fun, though.
6. Spend hours and hours in the Louvre just relishing in all that wonderful art.
I spent only 40 minutes inside. I found out that on Wednesday and Friday evenings between 6pm and 9:45pm any person under 26 may enter for free! I recently completed a subject in archaeology and did an essay on the Mesha Stele. I read that it was in the Louvre and thought that someday I might be lucky enough to see it.
I asked a waiter for directions and he told me how to walk, he said that there was a closer entrance if I continued straight, but that I would turn left and walk through the “Grand Porte” (a really big arch), because “is better for the eyes”. I took his advice and was amazed it was not just big it was huge and seemed ancient. The Louvre is now a museum, but it use to be the Royal Palace.
I walked in through the glass pyramid and showed my ID card at the ticket office. It’s partly in Arabic and says that I’m South African, then they always check the photo and notice I’m white. Either remark or question it and after that I get to go.
I only wanted to see the Mesha Stele, and so walked straight to it. I was surprised at how almost illegible it is and that this old piece of stone proves so much. It contains the words “the house of David” which means that David from the Bible was a real person, he was mentioned in things outside the Hebrew Bible. Some parts of the stone have faded entirely, but I got to see it. I took a picture, then a selfie and then just sat on a bench for a little which watching the ancient piece of rock.
I left through the sculpture area, but I didn’t know what anything was. I could just walk and think “oh, pretty”. To enjoy the Louvre you have to know what you want to see, because it’s so big. I wouldn’t have paid for a ticket just to see one piece, but I’m so glad I found the deal for students. The gift shop was boring, and I went to have dinner.
I can’t believe I was really there, I got to see that old piece of stone inscribed by an ancient king, dedicated to an ancient tribal god and still the inscription exists.
7. Take the trip to Versailles when the fountains and music are on and just imagine what Heaven is like!
I took the train to Versailles and passed the thousands of people queuing to get into the Chateau (castle). I walked straight to the gardens and was amazed. I had arrived on Musical Garden’s day. Classical music filled certain areas of the garden. I really enjoyed the dancing fountain which King Louis XVI unveiled in 1702. Some of the gardens where laid out in 1685 by the king’s gardner, Le Notre.
I wandered through and found the outdoor ballroom used in the film, A Little Chaos. I just kept walking. I was amazed a garden which was 350 years old and to me really beautiful.
I left the garden to find lunch at a café, timed myself to make sure I sat down for an hour so my aching feet would walk around the garden again. I couldn’t understand the French menu very well and ended up ordering a plate of very thinly sliced Italian (Parma) ham and for “desert” a cheese plate. I finished with espresso and went back to the gardens.
Granted, by now I had seen almost everything. It takes about 2 or 3 hours to see it all. I walked through again and spent almost an hour next to the dancing fountain. It’s the same song and routine that the fountain keeps “dancing”, but I was mesmerised and just kept watching. I ended up spending 9hours in the gardens. It was a perfect day. Marble stone busts line the neatly trimmed hedges and the plants are cut (trimmed?) into different shapes. Everything is symmetrical and there’s always 2 or 4 of something. It almost seems that Mr. Le Notre or the King had a form of OCD, such a tidy garden! I just couldn’t leave it. Perfect day.
8. See the marionettes in the Luxembourg Gardens.
Only do this if you have kids or speak French really well. I have neither and so just sat and watched the puppets. I was surprised to find hand puppets there, because a Marionette is a puppet worked by strings. I laughed a lot, it was so naïve, but that’s what made it funny. It was the story of the three little pigs, but edited to include other characters, like red riding hood. My favorite was the Big Bad Woolf. Dramatic music played and something that just looked like Evil Goofy appeared on the stage, Goofy with fangs. I couldn’t help laughing, but at intermission left and walked through the garden.
9. Spend a cloudy afternoon in the Musee D’Orangerie.
I spent a sunny morning here. Saw the original water lilies painted by Claud Monet. It was beautiful. The way he painted light is amazing. Sunlight on water recreated with a brush.
10. Sit in the park behind Notre Dame while lunching on a fresh baguette sandwich, an éclair chocolat and an Orangina.
I tried to recreate this situation with a mid-morning snack, but couldn’t find any places selling baguettes or éclairs. I found the park and sat down on a bench overlooking the memorial. A Japanese wedding couple where posing for a photographer. The tourists kept intruding on the pictures, but the photos would be lovely with the cathedral in the background.
11. Attend Evensong at famous churches.
I went to Sacre Coeur in the rain. The nuns where singing. The mosaic face of Jesus looked down on the congregation from the great dome of the church. Different people read the first two parts for the evening. It seems anybody could get up and read the scripture selected for that evening. After this the priest rose and gave his sermon. I followed some of what he said, but mostly I just read English translation of the sermon.
12. Eat on the boat/restaurant/thing overlooking Notre Dame. Order the chicken.
This I tried to do today. I went to a Saturday midday Mass service and planned on eating here afterwards. It was much pricier than I wanted to pay and so I found a café just off of the main street. Delicious food, although, I’m still not sure what I ate! It was meat and the sauce was good.
After leaving here I bought a piece of nougat from a place that apparently opened in 1775. I’m guessing that if anybody knows how to make real nougat it would be here.
13. Climb up to the top of Sacre Coeur and savour the view.
Winding spiral stair case climbed up high into the sky. It was totally worth it at the end. I found the most beautiful view of Paris from the top of that tower. All you need are strong legs and then Paris stretches out before you.
14. Go into the garden at Musee Rodin and “line up” the Thinker, Napoleon’s gold dome and the Tour Eiffel.
This was yesterday! Rodin was a sculpture. His first work seems kind of stiff? A little boring, but good. Then he visited Florence and saw the works of Michelangelo the way Rodin made his stuff changed. More movement was added. It became more lifelike and real. He made several sculptures of Victor Huge although the author refused to pose for him.
The gardens use to belong to the hotel in which Rodin lived. The sculptures are still standing where Rodin placed them. The Thinker is sitting on his chair and the Gates of Hell are really horrific. Based on a poem apparently the gates are amazing, because they are art and to think a man made that is fascinating, but the reality which they impose almost scared me.
Turing away I was able to see the top of the Eiffel tower and after repositioning myself I got a picture with the tower, the thinker and the golden dome.
15. Sit at the counter and have lunch with the neighbourhood workers and shoppers in the food halls at Galleries Lafayette.
The food halls turned out to be a four story building with various gourmet restaurants and places. I bought a slice of cheese pizza and a slice of Margarita pizza along with some macaroons for lunch. I sat down outside the store on the side walk and took my first bite of cheese pizza. “Bon appetit” said a male voice as a pair of legs walked by. It was delicious. I was surprized to find strong blue cheese on my pizza. I had never put that on but it complemented the other tastes exceptionally.
16. Buy French Sea Salt
Since I spent a month in Paris I had to spend time in supermarkets. I bought French sea salt and hope to find out why it was on the list when I start using it.
17. Buy one of those little Eiffel Tower replicas to always remind you of Paris.
On the first Sunday we decided to visit Notre Dame for a Mass service. A man was selling Eiffel Tower key chains to the standing queue. I bought a bunch, that way I have souvenirs for everybody.
18. Buy some French toothpaste. It seems silly, but it’s fun.
The tooth paste at the supermarket looked just like the ones I had. I searched for an authentic French brand or something new and unfamiliar. Left empty-handed.
19. Visit the Cluny Museum & drink in the richness of the tapestries, preferably when there’s hardly anyone around.
20. Go to the Rue Mouffetard.
I spent a few hours here. Walked up the street slowly. Found a store selling real costumes, not those make-believe Halloween stuff, but real fancy expensive costumes. A black velvet over coat and a dress that looks like it comes from the 1800’s. Nothing vintage all hand-made. I looked around, but saw nothing that I would wear again. The owner asked if I’d like to try on one of the dressed, but I said no. Just before leaving the store something caught my eye. “Is that a chain jacket?” I asked. “Yes, but not for you.” “Excuse me?” “You don’t want to try even simple dress, so you cannot try zat.” I was fairly amused and wondered on.
Had steak and crème brulée for dinner.
21. A visit to Sacre Coeur is a must. Then sit in the little plaza with all of the artists and have a nice lunch and glass of wine.
This I did almost exactly. The great white church was wonderful to see, with the most beautiful view of Paris from its steps. It took my breath away to climb the tower, both metaphorically and quite literally. 300 stairs…
I reached the ground and walked up to a man selling caramelized peanuts. “Excuse me” I said, “Toilets on the left” he replied in a board voice. I giggled and said that I wanted good food, and saw him wrinkle his nose at the idea of the tourist places. He sent me to a small street down the stairs, but I never found his recommended restaurant. I did see the artists and have a glass of Merlot with my meal. A French musician was playing on the street corner and was later joined by another man on a violin. They played together for a while and then went their separate ways.
22. Go to Sacre Coeur – when the nuns are singing
On a cold, rainy evening I went to Sacre Coeur. The nuns sang beautifully. Their voices sounded almost small in the vast basilica. I left the church and the rain was coming down hard. It was icy cold, and I hadn’t packed anything warm, since I thought summer in Paris was hot… I scurried into a souvenir store and bought a hoodie. It took some time to warm up, but I left the cold, quiet streets and came home.
23. Take the Metro to Abbesses (rain (take an Umbrella) or shine (sun-glasses)) and walk upwards to the Sacre-Coeur.
I did this with my mum and a tour guide the first time. We passed the square where Renoir and Picasso had lived. Passed a windmill. Passed the statue of the fictional character walking through the wall. All the way up to Sacre Coeur cathedral. Beautiful.
This was the walk I did every time I went to Sacre Coeur, I didn’t go often but I went more than once.
24. Have a wine/beer and a crepe in the Maison Rose.
This is why you need to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. The weather is still perfect. I walked all the way to Sacre Coeur and then down to Maison Rose. I ordered a Nutella Crepe and a glass of rose. Later on the idea of merlot and chocolate seemed yummier, but what I had was totally acceptable. The problem came with the cheque. The café didn’t accept credit cards and I was out of cash. I ended up giving the waiters my keys and metro card. That way I couldn’t get home without paying. On my way to the ATM I passed kid singing. A boy with a great, strong opera voice. The ATM was easy to locate and I found my way back to the café again easily. Oh, the crepe was yummy, I just don’t see why they’re so famous and everywhere. They’re good, but not fantastic. I did enjoy the experience very much.
25. Go to Place des Vosges (Marais).
I walked by Vosges when I visited Victor Hugo’s home. Seems to be a park. Nice vibe.
26. Walk Paris at night – magical.
I had to skip all the late night stuff unfortunately. I wanted to watch the lights on the bridges being turned on and the Eiffel Tower sparkle, but the train times didn’t allow me this. We live an hour from the centre of Paris, and the lights only come on at 11pm, this would mean I had to sprint home and if I did miss the train I had quite a problem and would have to stay in the city… Next time!
27. Go to the basement of BHV and buy small hardware items, signs, drawer pulls, etc. for your home.
My French is quite decent for somebody who learned it from a computer program. I found the store, it was a department store, not a hardware store. Normal people buying and selling normal stuff. Nothing with I ❤ Paris. Blissful. I used my French to ask for “the thing that opens and closes a door”. This led me to the part of the store I wanted. It was really interesting walking through a French store. So big, so many different types of stuff.
28. Eat lunch or dinner at least one place where the servers do *not* speak any English; muddle through if you must, and then feel triumphant.
I did this at a small bar/ café. I ordered steak with a strong cheese sauce and some banana things with rum and ginger for desert. The meat was medium, because that’s the only word I could think of! The desert was interesting, they lit the rum in the kitchen, so it had a burned taste. I told the waiter I liked it and he started explaining how to make it and how easy it was. I wished I had said I want to watch them make mine, but maybe sticking to simple French was the best. The cheese sauce with the steak was really good.
29. Stop on the middle of the Pont des Arts and have your picture taken with the Eiffel tower behind you.
I have no idea on which Pont I took this picture of me, but I have the tour Eiffel right behind me. I might have been on Pont des Arts, but I ended up forgetting to look at the different names.
30. Eat crème brulée.
I did this one night. Paid for a 2 course meal, ordered meat followed by crème brulée. It was delicious, although I do prefer the one I make myself. That was not the best I’ve ever had. But the idea of eating a French desert in Paris in a small café. Really romantic. The weird thing was that I had always thought of Crème Brulée as a hot desert and here it was served cold.
31. Talk in French with French people when you're eating/shopping.
This really improved my French. I didn’t lean many new words, but I did become more relaxed in using the language. After 2 weeks I spoke less haltingly and could construct better sentences. I am still feeling very triumphant, because the most complex sentence I said was “No orange juice, I would like a glass of water.” I know it’s not much, but it’s not a bunch of random words strung together. I also bought Harry Potter 1 in French. Going to try and get through it slowly, but surely.
32. Go to Sacre Coeur late afternoon on a Sunday and watch the sunset over Paris and enjoy the over people gathered on the steps…
The night I slept in Sacre Coeur I saw the sun setting over Paris from the dormitory windows and watched all the people milling around down in the streets. Some sitting on the steps, all enjoying the panoramic view that Montmartre provides.
33. Be on the streets very early in the morning when the produce is being delivered and shops opening for the day.
The night I slept at Sacre Coeur I was out really early, but I didn’t see any of this. I remember in Rome how I enjoyed watching the deliveries, oh and also in Bath (UK). But this was just a quiet morning. Pity though, because it’s fun to watch.
34. Spend some time walking on the Rue du Paradise looking in all the shops selling china and porcelain and crystal.
I tried to do this twice. The first time I asked a waiter why everything was closed. In a nonplussed voice he said because it’s Monday. I then later returned to find everything still closed on another day and came to the conclusion that Rue du Paradise is always closed. There’s never anything open there. The one place where I got some water was also dark and closed 5min after I left it. Sinister…
35. Flirt with a cute Frenchman in a Parisian cafe! (Or girl…)
It ended up being much more fun just chatting with them, learning how to correctly pronounce words and getting the recipe for pepper sauce.
36. Attend Evensong at famous churches.
I attended evensong regularly at Sacre Coeur and once at Notre-Dame. Beautiful way to see the church. Just don’t try to pray there, too many people moving and not everybody respects the no photo sign. It was really beautiful to be allowed to sit down and soak in the buildings.
37. Walk across bridges on a foggy morning.
38. Go to Balzac's House in the 16th. If you try, you imagine what this house was like before the city built up around it.
39. Walk somewhere the tourists don't walk.
I asked a waiter for a suggestion and he sent me to Canal st. Martin. I spent way to long looking for the place, ended up getting my ear pierced and then finally found the tiny cute little place. It seemed very relaxed and had an outdoor free gym area. A few weights and some metal structures for exercising. People where eating sushi, reading with their feet in the water. Two homeless guys where kindling a fire behind some bush. Really peaceful.
40. Have a cafe au lait with a crusty baguette with jam and butter for breakfast.
I ordered “Le petit dejeuner” (French breakfast) with black coffee. The bread tastes so much different than regular bread. I can’t believe what I use to eat as bread, this is soft, but filling and with butter it’s perfect. I skipped the jam, didn’t want to ruin the taste. I had to wait for my croissant, it was coming out of the over. The waiter put it down next to me fresh and warm.
41. Have French butter.
I bought some at the supermarket. Tastes really good, but not very different than other butter.
42. Buy some French yogurt…..the ones in the little glass jars are so delicious.
I did buy something in a glass jar, but it wasn’t yogurt. It was like a custard type thing with rice. My French isn’t brilliant. *chuckle*
43. Go on the tour of the city's sewers (not as gross as it sounds.) They are huge underground streets that were designed to enable troops to move round the city. They don't smell. Well only a little bit and not like you'd think.
This I did just because of the scene in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. I wasn’t very interested in the sewers, except the fact that they are huge. Apparently armies marched through them, under the city instead of above. I was surprised at how many other people ventures down under the city. I felt cloister phobic only once and that tunnel ended really soon.
44. Drink Kir Royale before a meal.
Kir Royal is champagne mixed with liqueur. We bought a whole bottle at the supermarket for the price of one glass in a restaurant.
It’s really good! Little bitter after taste, but really good. I will always associate it with Paris and hopefully drink it again on my next Parisian visit.
45. Eat Jewish food in the Jewish Quarter – Rue des Rosiers. This area is wonderful and the small restaurants and food venders so very colourful. The food is great and the smells wonderful!
Jewish food? I found the Jewish quarter. It was different than the rest of Paris, but the only Jewish food I saw where falafels. I should really try one sometime. It looks like an over-stuffed pita bread with too much sauce for a take-away. Haha. We walked around spent time the Jewish patisserie. Ended up having burgers for dinner at Micky’s Deli.
46. Listen to a string quartet play — in the Metro!
I found this regularly. People playing wonderful, classical music in the station. I love to stand and listen just for a little while. Once there was a saxophone player on the train playing Frank Sinatra’s I did it my way.
47. The self-guided tour of the Opera Garnier. Quite an impressive building, inside and out! Then, go across the street to the world-famous Cafe de la Paix, sit at an outdoor table, and have a beverage or two.
OK, for this one I have to go back a few years. I grew up with the music of Phantom of the Opera. I read Gaston Leroux’s book, The Phantom of the Opera. I was really excited for today, and I wasn’t let down. The building was amazing. I paid for the tour guide, but later on wished I hadn’t she focused on things that didn’t interest me very much, but I got to see a wonderful building. Box 5 was pointed out (The Phantom’s Box). There was so many different kinds of marble! The stair case on which they sing Masquerade… I stood on that! The gift shop only had one copy of the book in French, so I skipped that. I couldn’t believe that I got to be there in that place. I’ve know about it for almost 7 years and today I got to see it.
Café de la Paix was really yummy. We ordered the Butcher’s cut. That’s a thing here. Seems you can order meat everywhere, you just don’t always get to pick which cut you get but so far it’s always been good. From there on we walked to Galleries Lafayette and had Pierre Hermé macaroons for dessert.
PS. I do know that more than Phantom of the Opera comes from this Opera house. This was where Carmen became an opera, not just an opera comedy. I have just always loved the book and the music of Phantom and associated it with this building.
48. Look at the carvings on all the bridge
Every bridge is different! I found flowers, garlands, monsters and human faces on different bridges.
49. Visit Victor Hugo’s house
I went here, really quickly. I mean I didn’t rush through, but there isn’t that much to see if you only do the free tour. It was interesting being inside his home where he wrote some of his best books. The home was 4 stories, but only one room was kept exactly as he had left it. It felt so stuffy and a little too fancy for a man who wrote about poverty and oppression. Interesting experience.
50. Visit the Church of Alexandre Nevsky and stop for a Russian lunch at a nearby cafe. Don't forget the vodka!
The church was exceptional. It was different than the other cathedrals in Western Europe which I’ve seen. The art and everything was different. I’m glad I could have seen it.
51. Walk from the Eiffel Tower to the Champs Elysee.
It was really not far, but it took me an hour to walk there. I enjoyed the walk, though. I walked passed a street market selling fish and ball gowns. From there I walked passed a non-tourist church, went in to pray. Really big and echo-y, but still nice. After my long walk to Champs Elysee I was disappointed to find that it was just a busy over crowded street with seemingly nothing special to it. I had lunch and continued to walk. The getting there part was much more interesting than the actual being there.
52. Stroll through Fouchons.
Had lunch here. We split half a Quiche Loraine (bacon). The bakery part was also really good, had the best chocolate mousse cake.
53. Go to a Pierre Herme shop, and have the best macaroons.
I was on my way to buy Macaroons at Ladurée. I asked a concierge for directions to the store and he said I should rather take the first left and buy some at Pierre Herme. They were wonderfully light and sweet. I tried other macaroons afterwards, but nothing tasted right. After leaving the store I found that it was on my list. I wanted to buy one of every flavour, but that was way too expensive. My favourite would be the lime and yogurt flavoured ones, they taste kind of like lemon meringue pie.
54. My idea: Spend the night at Sacre Coeur and join in the constant prayer.
I registered for the Night-time Adoration at Sacre Coeur. The banners in front of the church say that night and day there’s always somebody praying in the basilica, but I never thought about this. When registering for the night I had to pick an hour between 11mp and 7am that I would pray. Everybody who signs in prays for an hour and so there’s a constant flow of prayer even during the night. I was honoured to be able to be part of it. There was a French mass at 10pm and after that I went up to bed. The dormitory had wooden floors that squeaked. My room had no door, just a curtain to give some privacy. The window was open for fresh air and I could hear the late night tourists still enjoying their time at the café. Singing drifted in through the window and I only fell asleep after midnight.
My alarm woke me 4:45am. I got dressed and went down to pray. I wasn’t alone in the church. About 5 other people were also praying. It was dead quiet and only the light in the front of the church was on. I entered and felt the heat coming from the large prayer candles.
I sat, but couldn’t close my eyes to pray, firstly I was scared I’d drift off again and secondly it was so beautiful and quiet. I wanted to drink in the whole basilica, because photos aren’t allowed.
The main doors of the basilica where opened at 6am. My prayer hour was over and I walked out to watch the sunrise. It was beautiful. Sacre Coeur is on a “Mountain”, well, more like a hill. So there’s nothing in the way of watching the sunrise. The sky was a light denim bleu and the clouds where pink at first. Every few minutes the view changed.
7am I returned for the morning mass. I wish I understood what they said, I just stood and knelt and tried to listen, but my French isn’t good enough yet. Maybe next time I visit I’ll be able to read the “Lecture” and understand the sermon…
I was planning to attend another sermon at 8h, but I needed some coffee before that. I went to the only open café I could find, had an espresso and asked the waiter for directions to Moulin Rouge. He told me to return at night, but I shouldn’t go to this side of Moulin Rouge, “because is busy, is shit, is pickpocket…” he froze with a fourth finger in the air seemingly to indignant at the idea of Moulin Rouge to continue. He looked me and told me to go to the other side were there where fewer tourists. I giggled and returned to church. The second mass had been cancelled due to the holidays.
After mass I left the church and bought a Croque Monsieur from a Boulangerie (ham and cheese sandwich from bakery…). It was delicious. They had used country bread and two or three types of cheese. The ham was just thick enough. I sat on a bench and savoured the taste. Then I headed home for a good sleep. It was brilliant.
On the list was also Watch the sun set over Paris from a tower.
I got to watch the sunset and rise. It was gloriously beautiful.
We live in the Suburbs of Paris, in Zone 4. Near the train station there is a butchery, a bakery and a small grocery with a lot of vegetables.
The butcher speaks no English, I speak some French. The previous time I was there we chatted a bit and I told him about my trip to Versailles. He taught me how to pronounce “thirty” in French. My credit card didn’t need a code that day, justa signature, the butcher seemed very incredulous about this.
Today I checked how to say “with fat” (avec grass) on my phone dictionary before entering the butchery. He asked how I was going to cook it, hand gestures where used to explain pan frying. He then asked how thick I would like it. This is so different than just walking into the supermarket and picking up any packet! We talked a bit, me slowly with some mistakes him fast and telling me that I should speak French a lot and that is how I will improve. After seeing the fantastic meat he had cut me I wanted to say “It’s perfect” in French. After 2 or 3 times he figured out what I was trying to say and corrected my pronunciation. I love this, a French butcher giving me the most wonderful meat and helping me learn French. So nice.