Travel notes from the real France. Carnet de Voyage is a weekly personal travel story in France sent in by readers. If you’d like to write a story for Carnet de Voyage, head here for details on how to submit.
“I have no money!” shouted the jogger as she breezed past 70 year old me in a park close to the Marmotten Monet Museum.
I had just asked her, in my terrible French, where the Monet Museum was. At least I think I did.
On this lovely, clear, sunny Parisian July day, I was to meet my group of 80 fellow Californians, a mixture of Generation Z’ers and Baby Boomers, to draw together at the Monet Museum. Yet, in world with Google maps, I had no clue where Monet was hiding his museum.
I left my dorm room near the Luxembourg Gardens with time on my side. I expertly rode the public buses flittering by Rodin’s Museum, the Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, Palais Galliera, and Palais de Tokyo. I felt like my travel hero, Rick Steves, blithely going hither and yon on my way to grandmother’s house/Monet Musuem.
My new best pal, Google Maps, predicted I had a less than five minute walk to my destination. My spidey senses warned me I was lost at the 15 minute mark. While surrounded by children playing and laughing in the Jardin de Ranelagh, I panicked knowing I had made a Monet-sized mistake.
Gathering up both my courage and best French that I could muster up, I spoke to a jogger coming right at me the “je suis desolée” phrase I learned in French class to obtain sympathy to ask “où est le musée Monet, s’il vous plait?”
Her reply was succinct, enabling her to maintain her stride and be utterly unhelpful – “I have no money!”
Lucky for me, a spunky blonde girl paused her soccer practice to give me surprisingly accurate directions to a museum that was moments, and Monets, away.
Read our other Carnet de Voyage entries here
Liz Scotta, a Baby Boomer from California, and a Francophile, leaves foggy San Francisco each July for a dorm room in the 6th arrondisement in Paris where she studies French, draws most anything and masters public transportation. Illustrations from over 20 sketchbooks will appear in her forthcoming book, Not Just Paris: Scenes From France, out on amazon.fr and Amazon.com.
Lead photo credit : An illustration by Liz Scotta
By Liz Scotta
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