Every summer, some terrific sporting events are broadcast from France. The earliest is The French Open.
That's what we call it here in the U.S. It's the tennis tournament played in the outskirts of Paris.
I had no idea that the tournament went by another name in France, but I found out when we took the kids to France in 1998.
We traveled there in April. We were staying with our friend Marguerite in Paris. She offered to take me shopping for gifts to take home on the last day before our flight. My brother's birthday is at the end of April and he is a huge tennis fan. I knew he would love to have a t-shirt that said French Open. Just like he would have enjoyed having one that said Wimbledon or Australian Open or U.S. Open.
The first problem came as I tried to explain to Marguerite what I wanted. She had never heard of the French Open. But, she had never heard of Monet's Garden either, so I thought it might just be a cultural thing.
|Here's a picture of me holding Tucker and standing next to Marguerite in Monet's Garden in 1998.|
We wandered around to different sporting good stores before someone finally understood, "Roland Garros."
The French call the tournament the name of the stadium, just like with Wimbledon in England.
The only place that would sell t-shirts like that would be at the stadium, he told us.
Now my memory becomes fuzzy. I can't remember if Marguerite and I took the metro out to Roland Garros or if I ended up ordering my brother a t-shirt online. In 1998, both options would have been equally difficult. It wasn't easy to buy things online back then, and a French website would not have been prepared for an American credit card.
So I'm thinking about this experience this week as The French Open airs on TV. I saw my brother at a family reunion today and he asked if I'd been watching The French Open.
I haven't because classes started this week and all the kids have moved home. Things seem a little hectic still.
My brother Kevin told me about a great feature this morning that showed some amazing places to visit in France. He has never been, and I'm hopeful that he'll get the travel bug to go see France. Maybe someday he'll even come visit me in France.
Thanks for playing along.
I always enjoy your posts and I hope you'll all visit each other's posts.