"New York, New York" and Other Songs One Hears In Paris
Because Rafique, my young waiter at le Clou de Paris, was not on that night I went to another restaurant on Rue St. Jaques called Maison Richard, which for a higher price had a much nicer steak au poivre and a lovely cheese plate for dessert. M.R. had a piano, but it was early yet and so diners had to settle for a cd of piano standards featuring, suprisingly, "Somewhere over the Rainbow" and "New York, New York." Not once in Paris did I hear "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" ( I have a lovely cover by Eartha Kitt) or "Ma Vie en Rose."
Sitting at dinner, I begin to have conflicting emotions. On one level I am bursting, just dying, to tell my friends of my adventures, or really to tell anyone who vaguely understands english of my adventures. Unfortunately all the Americans I ran into disgusted me, and the majority of other tourists I met spoke pidgin English, even expressing the simplest of emotions became an adventure of interpretive dance.
One the other hand, a large part of my difficulty could be dispelled by simply purchasing a phrase book. It's not even that finding one was a problem. I saw them. You can buy guides and so forth at newspaper shops, but I didn't. In someways this perpetuates my usual situation in New York. In New York, people don't understand me but the reason is not because of HOW I talk, but rather what I talk about. Here the inability to be understood seems cleaner. And it also leaves me unattached to pursue my own agenda. Also, apparently, I like men a lot better when I can't understand what they are saying.
I begin to miss Henri.
A Moment of Reflection on Cultural Differences
"They got the same shit over there that we got over here, it's just a little different."-John Travolta as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction
Ass grazing skirts-
The whole I know your whole gynecological history from a casual sweep of the eye length skirt has not yet hit Paris. I only saw two mini skirts in Paris, the yellow one outside of Notre Dame and a pink terry cloth juicy skirt in the Louvre. Both, clearly were worn by tourists. Odd to find such demurity in the city that was once known for its "naughtiness." This is not to say the women aren't sexy, they are, very much so. But they know how to dress. The mid riff exposing top has hit Paris, but only a slight form. Half tops are still only sported by tourists.
Cell Phones
Although almost all Parisians have cell phones, but, unlike New Yorkers, they are not constantly talking on them. In New York it is not uncommon for me to walk by a cafe and see a couple, each one speaking on a cell phone. In Paris, I didn't see this. Even people sitting alone didn't constantly yap into a cell phone. The parisians, when receiving a call, also politely excuse themselves and take the call at some distance from you. A much nicer situation than being dragged into a whole bunch of drama unneccessarily.
Water Bottles
As Douglas Adams pointed out, there is really no reason for the water bottle craze. There is plenty of it available. No reason to schlep your own personal reservoir about. The parisians concur. If I felt thirsty, I would stop at a cafe and have a drink. One might say it's a brilliantly simple concept.
Fear Itself
While walking with Julien trying to find the invisible street, I pulled or twisted something in my achilles tendon. My left ankle was more than sore, it hurt. I started walking through the latin quarter after dinner, but it was crowded and I was in pain. I decided it was better if I went back to the hotel, had a tarte tatin at the tiger, soaked my ankle for a bit and then went to bed. Even though it was friday. I justify this by saying it's ok to be a loser tonight because I'll go out saturday night.
More to come...la musee d'orsay...la jeune tarentine...

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