I don’t have too much to report for the last couple of days. I’m trying to set up another apartment for October, and I’ve been screwing up my courage to make phone calls on that. I was supposed to meet a woman today at 6 p.m. to see one place, and I honestly don’t know if I was stood up, or if something was lost in translation and I was standing at one place while she was at another.
I stopped by a few of the tourist destinations today, though, and was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people. I think I would really hate it if I lived here and considered it my city, to have tourists traipsing all over. Some of the beautiful old building along the route up the Montmartre Hill had one-way reflective glass in the windows to keep tourists from peering into their parlours.
Moving within the throngs of tourists were people selling every single trinket imaginable. For example, after a long walk up to the top of one of the most popular tourist spots in Paris, who wouldn’t want to buy one of those little barking, fuzzy dogs that flip over backwards when wound up?
I had to get extremely close to Sacre Coeur to get any kind of unobscured picture.
I also stopped by the Montmarte cemetery on my way up to Sacre Coeur. It’s a little weird, because although many of the older tombs and graves date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, people who died last year are also buried there. It would be strange to visit your recently deceased relative and to come face to face with camera-toting tourists following maps around their grave.
I wonder if this guy’s nose fell off naturally, or if someone chipped it off. He looks rather bemused by the whole thing.
This was by far my favourite grave. When I die, I would also like a golden statue of myself, complete with nipples visible through skimpy costume. Unless that’s supposed to be an angel, rather than the occupant? Hard to tell. Either way, I feel that only in Paris would I mention “nipples” and “graveyard” in the same paragraph. (Turns out, there’s a back story, and one that it looks like I should already know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalida. Oh well, that’s why one comes to Paris, to become more cultured.)
Despite Trish’s best wishes for me, I have not yet sped down a Paris street on a red Vespa wearing a red dress, with the wind blowing in my hair. But little scooters are everywhere here, and I would totally try one out if given a chance.
Finally, I spent a while in front of this store today, because it was just too much fun. There were all sorts of painted … Giraffes? Llamas? It’s hard to tell. But regardless, people almost uniformly had the same reaction. They would walk up, the man would stroke his chin in confusion (see above) and the woman would wander in to see what it was all about. I saw this happen about four times in a row.
Another highlight was seeing a store called “Elvis, my Happiness” that was chock full of everything and everything to do with that not-so Parisian icon. It seemed extremely out of place, but was surprisingly full of people.
Alright, I’m going back to my feeble attempts to read the French novels I picked up at a little flea market. I think one is about a bunch of people living in a house, and the other about a boy during World War I. Beyond that, you’ve got me!