5.2.07

Mon Vie en Paris

Well, enough of all this sightseeing bullshit. I thought I’d spill a few lines on my actual day-to-day whatnot. First of all, its not the 5th, as the blog date above professes, it’s actually the 12th. I’m a few days behind here, but how could you blame me? Things are happening at a hundred miles an hour here and I’m struggling to keep up without letting it all fly by. For this alone, writing it all down like this serves its purpose well.

As I’ve mentioned quite a few times already, I love Paris. Its sort of what I’ve always thought a city should be. First of all, having few or no skyscrapers is a good start. I appreciate human ingenuity, but to a point, and anyway, most of them are soulless crap. Skyscrapers should be relegated to the periphery of the city if they are really needed at all, leave the heart of the city to something I can climb (although I did climb the Sears tower).

You might think it funny to mention the lack of tall buildings as the first characteristic of the city I admire, you’re probably right. Come on though, we all know its romantic, delicious and totally fashion conscious. So why beat a dead horse? O.K., besides lacking skyscrapers, Paris has an abundance of things I do love. First and foremost, Boulangeries; I think Z and me have stopped to buy a baguette almost every day that I’ve been here. We eat the WHOLE THING with some stinky cheese or Nutella, usually before dinner. Of course I’ve gained 30 some-odd pounds, but its way worth it.

Wine is cheap, so is beer. I mean really cheap. It’s cheaper to drink wine with dinner than juice sometimes. Chocolate milk, or “chocolate chaud”, is actually melted chocolate and milk, not powder and water, EVERY TIME. The Metro is almost a pleasure to ride. Its antiquated in an adorable way that totally excuses its inefficiency or slowness. You actually have to flip a latch to open the doors to get in or out of a car. Not that it’s really slow anyway. In fact, it’s designed to keep totally ADD people like myself at bay. There are signs indicated the waiting time for the next train, which is never more than 5 minutes away.

Of course, the French or at least the Parisians have been rude. They hate it when we start speaking English, but they don’t even try to understand our French; it’s a total catch 22. Still, I’m convinced that the attitude is not reserved for silly Americans alone. I think it’s a way of life here, a little snotty and cold. I can dig it though, it’s a little NY ‘tude. So as Z’s “conversation dude” Paul put it, (smiling a huge smile, condescendingly) “Parisians aren’t all like … Sure, Hello, Ohhhh, that’s so nice!”

So anyway, as exciting as it all is, life is still pretty simple. Z and I get up every morning, I make sandwiches and eat some European yogurt and a bannana and then we rush to get our asses out of the room. Then we take the metro together, the #11 from Port de Lilas to Chatelet, then the #14 to Bibliotheque Francois Miterand. Zaritchka has most of her classes at the University of Chicago Center in Paris while I go to work at the Laboratoire Astroparticule et Cosmologie (APC). The APC is on the University of Paris, #7, Diderot campus. The UofP (hehehe) is a pretty large public university with many campuses in the city, one of which is the famous Serbone. A QUaD telescope collaborator, Ken Ganga, has been very kind to offer me a desk in his office to use, so I connect my laptop to the internet and try to get some work done. On the weekday evenings, its usually grocery shopping or cooking dinner and then some HW and blogging.

We’re trying to see as much of the city as possible too. This is made somewhat easier by the “conversation dude” Paul. Paul is sort of a rent-a-friend the UofC has provided students in the program with. He’s supposed to take Z and other students (3 per conversation dude) out and about Paris, while trying to help them strengthen their French and learn about the Parisian way of life. While you can imagine these people to be slight weirdos, Paul is actually totally cool. Last week (the date of this post) Paul took us to a cool neighborhood full of bars off of the Republique Metro stop, near Oberkampf. We had a few drinks and a good chat. Tonight (the 12th) he took us to a movie at Oberon. We saw Bobby, the movie about Bobby Kennedy. It was so-so, not worth much of a mention, but the clips of Bobby speaking were enough to make me cry for a better world.

Yep, that’s pretty much the day-to-day.

1 comment:

Boxster97 said...

Your trip sounds great, im very jealous. When i left there last year, i brought a dozen croissants with me on the plane. - avi