Parents in Paris

My parents were in town this past weekend, and they managed to sail through jet lag and put up with being dragged all about town with good humour. Here we are, yes, at Sacre Coeur again. It was actually quite nice at night, with someone singing in English to all the tourists.

My mom and I tried shopping Saturday, trailed by my father, who got to sit outside a wide range of Paris boutiques and read his book. It’s a tour he’s had of many cities around the world. Alas, the euro was too strong, and we ended the day empty-handed.

We then took about 74 pictures at dinner, and this out-of-focus one was the only one in which we both looked semi-normal.

They also got to experience the joys of the Paris metro. My mom quickly became an expert at barking “pardon” to get off a crammed car, and my dad is generally happy as long as he’s on some kind of moving machine. Here he is next to some boy carrying flowers.

Sunday, we tried to see Sainte Chapelle, a church that my dad remembers from when he and my mom were last in Paris, 30 years ago. Unfortunately, it was closed during patrimony days due to terrorism threats, or something. So we went to Notre Dame instead, which was actually really incredible. It was nice to see things with the eyes of a tourist again, after a month here, I’m actually starting to get inured to all the beauty around me.

We listened to an organ recital, which led me to several conclusions. First, whenever I hear an organ played, I’m going to think of Phantom of the Opera. Secondly, I have two organ-listening states. I’ll either be jumping and edgy because it sounds like the person is just pounding on the keys willy-nilly, or I’ll be thinking “Oh, that’s pretty,” before immediately falling asleep. I must have dozed off five times during the hour-long concert. It’s like some kind of drug. Even the loud, jarring stuff made me sleepy after the original shock.

Once the parents headed off to Holland, I discovered something important. I brought only one suitcase for my two months here and as a result have been doing a lot of laundry. But when setting the washing machine yesterday, I noticed that the bottle of soap I’ve been using was labelled “adoucissant.” Yes, I’ve been using fabric softener and nothing else for the past three and a half weeks. That means none of my clothes have been clean for approximately the last two weeks.

When going out to buy some replacement soap, I managed to almost buy some kind of tab that you run through your washer to remove calcium deposits. Also not soap.

So, now, my apartment is empty yet again, but the drying rack is finally, finally piled high with clean clothes. Definitely a step up …


2 responses to “Parents in Paris

  1. On the bright side, surely all your clothes smelled fabulous. And isn’t smelling good the most important part about being clean?

    (Aside from, um, health or something?)

    (Also, I think I would have shrieked about being Canadian to someone the Americans insist on fighting, too. I went into far too much detail about how not American I am to the Russian man I met at the hostel last spring, and he wasn’t even confused.)

  2. I am laughing out loud at your latest posts at an internet room in Ko Phi Phi.

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