Sunday, June 01, 2014

Dreaming of France -- The French Open

Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
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.
Marguerite was a single woman in her 70s and probably didn't take an interest in sports.She couldn't be expected to know about The French Open.
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.


Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Love the photo! Funny thing about the French Open....I am in France but but I hear about it when I call back to the states.

Just Me said...

Very interesting and fun post.

Leovi said...

Very nice portrait , lovely picture , I love that beautiful garden !

Sim Carter said...

I love watching the French Open, thanks for the info. I knew the stadium was called Roland Garros but had no idea they called it that, ala Wimbledon. Maria Sharapova really kicked up the red clay, such a great match!

I've got new news on the Audrey Tautou movie Mood Indigo on my site.

Louise said...

I knew the stadium was called Roland Garros, not sure if I knew that's how they referred to it. I haven't had the time to make a post this week, so can't join in the fun. But I am reading a book that will be a future post i'm sure- John Baxter's Paris at the end of the World, about Paris during WWI, one of the many things that I've learnt was that Roland Garros was a French pilot during the war- I'd never thought about the name- unusual to have a tennis stadium named after a pilot I should think.

Paulita said...

Thanks to everyone for your added information on Roland Garros and for just visiting. Always love to hear from you. We'll look forward to your post next week, Louise.

Linda said...

I've been to Roland Garros-last week in fact. It is such a great event and full of ambience. I hope you get to go some day.

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