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Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Paris on a Segway!

Manish, who was with me on this last work trip had never been to Paris before. He found a company that gave a tour of Paris on a Segway while researching for touristy things to do in Paris. The geeky side of me had always been interested in the Segway, so I went with him.

I had a hard time explaining what it was when I was looking for the meeting place near the tower. I was lost and was trying to find someone nearby who'd seen it. I was at a complete lost when trying to explain, in French, what the thing was, and ended up with “une machine étrangée qui roule”. That worked, finally, and someone was able to point me to the meeting spot. Thank goodness!

Boy was it a great time!! I hadn't had that much fun since I was, like, eight! The Segway was one amazing machine, though I found turning to be slightly counterintuitive in the beginning. This is because everything else is controlled by the movement and lean of your body, except the turn which is controlled by the left handle bar--sort of like an accelerator on a motorcycle I think. The skier in me just wanted to lean and turn---which proved almost disastrous at times. Luckily this thing was very hard to fall over.

We zoomed all around Paris, from the tower all the way to Notre Dame and stopped for ice cream at Berthillon—what a befitting stop that was too. The ride was like nothing I'd experience. In Paris the segway was allowed the same privileges as any pedestrian, so we could go anywhere we could on foot. The only thing I didn't like so much was being gawked at the whole time, but I guess that just came with the territory.

This thing was really hard to fall out of. I tried and tried and the gyroscopes in there just righted itself. In my group we had a 72 year-old grand mother who was dragged there by her grandson. She was obviously scared in the beginning, but ended up breezing around so fast we all lost her at one point!

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