Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pandas in Paris!

On our 2nd day in Paris, we were out early.

We walked down Rue Beaubourg on our way to Notre Dame and we came across the Hotel de Ville.

Yes, we thought it was a hotel as well when we were there, & I only got to know that it wasn't one when I was doing a bit of research for this post a few nights ago.

The reason for our ignorance was because it was never on our list of places to go. We just happened to pass by en route to Notre Dame & thought that it was a nice place to sit down & eat our baguettes. Oh, this is French trash. I meant the green bag on the right. I don't know, I thought the French would have been more finicky about the aesthetics of it. It definitely wasn't pleasing to the eyes, & it wasn't arty in any way.

Furthermore, we've been seeing it on our maps & Hotel de Ville is also one of the more convenient underground train stops around which allowed us to change to other lines. So we thought it would be nice to drop by to see what it was all about.

Apparently, Hotel de Ville meant City Hall & it houses the administration of the City of Paris as well as the Mayor. It also has a large square in front where certain events like workers' strikes (more recent) & public executions (in the past) were held.

Oh, we weren't sure whether this was a public execution or a general strike, but the pandas do look a bit lost & preoccupied.

It turned out that there were 1600 of them & it was some kind of exhibition about WWF conservation.

The poster was pretty obvious even though it was in French. Both of us actually stood there & read it word for word. We realised that with some effort, it was possible to second guess & form our very own wild interpretations. We could only manage the first paragraph:

In 1960, China gave a panda to the London zoo. The Panda is a symbol of biodiversity & the logo of WWF, an organisation for the protection of the environment since 1961.

When we came down to the second paragraph, it got a bit crazy, & everything was like Tamil to us. I think it was talking about how Paulo worked with the Thai artists to make the Pandas out of paper maches etc. with the involvement of the villagers to encourage social responsibility.

There're only two outcomes from this:
1) either we're right on the bat
2) or we were wildly imaginative

To all readers out there, if you know French, please amuse us.


Bengbeng said...

today is second day of hari raya n a public holiday. i was so bored surfing until i came to yan's blog n got yr link. i love yr france posts. n the pics. thanks.

Greg Wee said...

Glad to be of certain entertaiment value to you! Welcome & hope that you'll stay :)

sarawakiana said...

It is so nice to see so many Pandas (real or just toys whatever they may be).

Very refreshing observations.

You have a good eye. Keep it up.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

passed u an award,pls check my site.

sum1 said...

the 1,600 pandas you spotted in Paris was in the newspaper yesterday ... it immediately reminds me of this blog when i saw the picture. :)

oh yeah ... the newspaper is Sin Chew Jit Poh.

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