Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Paris Part Deux

How was today day 3 already?
So yesterday after I left the internet cafe my dad and I went to the top of the Arch de Triumphe. That this is huge, massive.
It was cool at the top, it's right in the centre of town and all the streets begin from the Arch.
Afterward we had a GREAT dinner at an Italian restaurant. Vegan or vegetarian food doesn't exist here. I was told it didn't exist in Berlin, but it does more so than here. There is nothing vegetarian. You either eat meat or starve. I asked if they had a spring roll in the Chinese restaurant, "Yes, with pork!"It was nice being with the guys from the Paris Archives as they were very friendly but it was a little difficult with one speaking only a little English and the other speaking none. I find I'm able to express myself well, as I can just substitute words I don't know for other words, but when someone's talking back to me, they speak very fast and don't know what words I don't know and it makes it harder. At the end of a good day yesterday, I was ready to say goodbye to them as speaking in French all day was giving me a headache. My dad, to his credit, doesn't really try, he just rushes right in with the English and usually gets someone who can understand.
Ok, so today we got up early again and went to a cemetary near our hotel where Jim Morrison, Chopin and Oscar Wilde were buried. It wasn't on my agenda but the guys from the Archives helped me find it.The day went a little slowly as I kept stopping to smoke or blow my nose, and my dad kept stopping to take pictures. And pictures. And pictures. I believe he took 400 in the cemetary alone.
Next to Jim Morrison's grave was this cat that you could tell slept on the moss a lot as it was covered in cat hair.
He was very friendly and sat with me for about 10 minutes. I may be there with him still if I had been alone.Next was Oscar Wilde's grave. This place was HUGE, it took like 30 minutes to walk to the other end of the cemetary. his grave was covered with kisses so I kissed it, and it also had some notes and momentos from people which was nice.
Finally the grave of Chopin, about 10 seconds before 300 people showed up.
From there off to Notre Dame.
We stopped at this cool fountain first and got a hot guy to take our picture.
Notre Dame is huge from the outside, and just okay inside. It was started in 1169 and is easily the biggest church I've ever seen.
The line for the roof view was really long so we skipped it and looked around for a cafe.
We found one, the kitchen was closed at 3 pm and the waiter was rude as can be. He's like "What do you want?" and I said an "Iced tea" and my dad goes, "What do you think about the..." and he was gone. Crazy. Plus a Coke was 3 Euro 50, or about $6.
My dad bought a hat and I now refer to him as Pierre.
We then found a cruise of the Seine and it was nice to take a load off my poor feet.
The commentary was in French, English and Spanish, and it was one too many and a bit quiet, I could really not understand even her English. The only thing I caught was that when the Eiffel Tower was built it was the tallest building in the world. The only way up was 1,700 steps. Now there is a huge elevator that goes sideways and is cool.
On the way back to the Metro we stopped and watched some guys do skating tricks and I gave them a Euro.
Then off to my play. Acutally my dad stopped and bought an earing and got a pair so I'm wearing the other one. I went a long way, about an hour, including a 25 minute walk to get to the play. I got there at 7:30, picked up my ticket and couldn't find the way into the theatre. It was general admission so I wanted to be near the door but where was the door? I didn't want to chance my French and have anyone ask why I was going to a French play if I didn't speak it well so I just hung around. The show was supposed to start at 8 and at 7:58, tons of people came from the restaurant beside me and stepped in front of me in line. I thought seeing as it is a Monday night in the middle of a month long run for an author only I have heard of it would be empty but the thing was jammed to the rafters, they had to turn people away at the door. The show starts and I fell asleep. I think I would have fallen asleep if it was in English. It was a one woman show, the stage was all black, and she was standing in front of a red sign, flashing sentences like "Thomas is happy he has finished his exams" but in French. She was wearing a white jump suit and talked about how she was a famous singer and then sang like Yoko Ono. Then I woke up and she was saying how she was dead now, then I woke up again and she had her top off but no boobs. She was talking about blurring the line between man and woman. Was she born a man or just as flat as Manitoba? Don't know. When it was over I sprinted for the door.
I don't think we're going to get to the Monet house and we've fallen a bit behind on our agenda, there is so much to do here! One of the best things is the French bakeries everywhere. Delicious. I see like everyone buying a baguette but never butter or cheese. What do they do with it? Club each other?
I sent some of the items to myself that the archives gave me. They don't provide boxes for regular mail, only courier, so one box with 6 magazines was $50! It should arrive by the end of the week but I wanted it to go slow and cheap. I kid you not, there was 4 people helping customers at the post office and 20 people in line. I stood there for 20 minutes, the line did not move. Finally the line is getting ready to move and some old lady with a cane cut in front. I would be there still if the courier woman hadn't pulled me aside. So I'm going to have to do some creative packing on Wednesday night.I called my mom for 1.5 minutes, that was nice. I wish I had longer.
Gotta go to sleep! More tomorrow (hopefully, stupid internet!)

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