Paris is an international city where people speak a variety of languages anywhere you go. Language bridges cultures together, being able to communicate with one another helps us understand rituals, traditions, and the person. Culture questions are great conversation openers. When we are not strangers, we can be friends. So collecting languages builds bridges of friendship.
When my partner and I visit places, we try to learn 50 to 100 essential words and phrases to hold simple conversations building friendships and understanding different cultures. Generally, we spend most of our travel days speaking with vendors, owners, and employees interested in improving their revenue and resume by learning a new language.
I am blessed to work on this project with my best friend and life partner, so when in Paris with your mate, you must have romantic times.
Our goal on this day was to have a moment under the Eiffel tower, but we had to work too. We set out to do just that.
We started with a stop at a liquor store to purchase a bottle of wine. I asked the owner for the best wine to drink under the Eiffel, he laughed, and the conversation was on. We got into such an interesting discussion about different wines and which one would be perfect under the Eiffel. The wine we selected was a Listrac-Medoc, Château Fourcas Hosten a red French wine. By the time I left, he had looked up LingoHut and was so excited at the extensive library of languages. He loved the idea of games but what captured him was the price being free.
Our next stop a bakery to pick up a baguette, oh you all, the smell in this place was divine. We were so lucky to be there while it was a bit quiet. I got talking with Anna the clerk at the bakery, and by the time we left, she and her colleague knew all about our global language project, LingoHut.
Next, we needed some cheese or a spread for the baguette; we found a specialty cheese store. A perfect stop, we pick up a Brie cheese to go over our bread. The owner and I got talking about life in Paris and the business challenges of 2018. Can you believe it, language came up? Voilà, LingoHut was part of our conversation, and I have a new friend on FB. I love collecting friends.
What was left was handing out 200 flyers, so on our way to the Eiffel we made some stops. We stopped at stores and restaurants sharing LingoHut. Most were appreciative of us stopping by; one person even told us “ I love the old fashion service of face to face.” That is what we are all about face to face conversation building bridges between people from different cultures.
After walking for an hour and handing out cards, we got to the Eiffel, but we still had over 100++ cards. We learned in London that tourists were also very interested in languages, so we decide to stand at a very busy cross-walk where we shared the gift of languages. After handing a good amount of cards, we decided it was break time.
It was now time to find a place to sit and enjoy the “now.” We found the perfect patch of grass, not under the tower but so close and so beautiful. We took out the corked bottle of wine. Oh yeah, I forget to tell you the liquor store owner opened our wine to create our moment without hic-ups. We took out the glasses we borrowed from our room, and the towel to sit on. We brought out the baguette and cheese; the moment was building up to be perfect.
On our way back to the hotel we were back on the clock and continued to communicate with folks about building bridges through language.
This trip was educational, uplifting and a friendship builder.