Observations on Europe during reflection outbound from Paris.  16juli2013.

1)  We saved a lot of luggage space by mailing home the extra weight from items acquired in Germany.
2)    Air conditioners appear to be rare in europe.  It gets a bit hot then with high humidity, I frequently had a shirt soaked with sweat.  Fans and air movement machines are very rare, or Americans are spoiled by creature comforts.  (Poor babies).
3)  Do not pay for a Hop-on_Hop-off tours for major cities with good local train systems.  It is so easy to go anywhere after a bit of study of local street map & transit map.  Go here there or everywhere.  Voilà.
4)  We never saw tracts of homes.  All Paris has large 6 & 7 story buildings as residential units.  Story has it that a 1800’s king was tired of the poor people causing uprisings in Paris and throwing their furniture out windows to block traffic, so he had the 6 & 7 story units that only the rich could afford.  This pushed the poor people out to the perimiter of Paris. Voilà.
5)  I could see that many people have romantic affairs in Paris, then idolizes the place.  There were a lot of cute looking gals around Paris, but my current view is that it is no better than many other European cities.
6) I never saw one window screen to keep bugs out.  Some people use a thicker residential curtain on the windows.  Then a sheer see through curtain closer to the glass that could work as a bug-keeper-outer.
7.  There lots of stairs to climb in Europe.  Some buildings will have elivators, but all buildings have easy access stairs for all to use.  In the USA the stairs are frequently off limits to building users, presumably because the building manager feels that Americans  are uncoordinated cluts that will fall off the stairs on their heads and sue the building owners.  I guess in Europe if someone trips and falls on stairs, they are rightfully classified as a dumb-shite-cluts and not rewarded with personal injury damages because of their own stupidity.
8)   When you travel in Europe, bring lots of data storage SD cards to save our digital photos.
9)  Ask your USAcell phone provider for your ” phone unlocking code ” so you can buy a low cost SIM card chips in Europe.  This allows you to get a local EU phone number and get local rates on EU calls instead of cross ocean billing for calls made within Europe. 

Also you can get unlimited calling & texting between members of your travel group, you all buy the same vendor’s Phone SIM cards.
10)   The pickpocket problem is bad in Paris.  It was the worst in Paris than other cities.  People would hug close to you going up stairs, wind around and try to get behind you, you could see some low life moving into action when they saw tourist bags, people talking English.  Somene tried the “just found a ring on the the ground, is it yours? ” trick.  Rex recognized the trick and walked away quickly.  We had people quickly coming up behind us and hovering in pocket/zipper range. Having the tourist preditorial scum attacks took a lot of the alleged “France is so cool” ambience away and converted it to “watch your 6, preditors at work”.  What you could do is have your group decide  on specific wordng to use when a perceved pickpocket was suspected to be moving for a game of trick or treat.
11)  Travel Laundry:  Its good to only bring synthetic fabric cloths to Europe for easy hand washing in the sinks & tubs you get with your lodging.  Avoid cotton cloths entirely.  Synthetic cloths do bot absorm moisture in the finers, are easy to wash, and dry fast on the hotel cloths line that you brought with you.  The process is:
   A.  wet all cloths in the sink or shower. 
   B. Apply soap bar or liquid. 
   C.  Then hold two sides of the item and move the fabric up & down so the woven fabric squares become elongated which scares the dirt off the fabric. 
   D. Then wrince your laundry pile item by item.  E.  It helps to be wearing shorts when doing hand laundry for overspray. 
   F.  Wring the water out of your garments. 
   G. Put all clean wet cloths in a mesh bag and walk to the home made cloths line drying area. 
   H.  Hang clean wet cloths in sun if possible to dry.  Black fabric dries quickly. 
   I. After dried take the shirts and pants down and roll them like an enchellada for storage.  This roll & store technique also helps reduce the quantity and severity of the wrincled cloths syndrome.
   J.  Use air out vacume bags to reduce the cubic inch foot print utilized when your cloths are transported in your luggage.

Voilà !

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