Monday, October 28, 2013

If we had blogs in 1998, mine would have been poorly written

April in Paris. What more do I need to say?

As always, spelling, grammatical, factual, and emotional errors have been preserved from the original journal. Today’s comments are in red.

le 6 Avril 1998

Leaving Paris. I glance back for one last look at the city’s symbol, the Tour. The spirit has attacked my existence, challenging me to conquer it. Alas, I have no control, and have only to look toward the next venture to the city. Insanity was lost upon arrival; insanity returns upon departure. Good lord. I’m glad I’ve since learned how to write.

Friday, the debate about whether to go or not found the yes side a winner. Despite no guarenteed accommodation, we set out any way. Upon arrival, we sought a tourist office for booking, but found nothing. A stop in a hostel found us marching to another hotel, which proved to be successful. A venture to the Champs Elysées for Burger King, however, was not, as Burger King exists no longer. Yay! McDonald’s won. Boo! At least we got to see the Tour at night. We sat up till 2:30am. Yanni was on the telé, and we actually watched. We got a late start in the morning, about noon, & headed over to the Latin Quartier for eating, after I semi complained because we always go to the same places in Paris – the touristy ones. I don’t understand why, if Paris is Matt’s favorite city, why he won’t explore it. So we went to the Latin Quartier and passed by a Jean Louis David. Andrea got her haircut for $30 there. It looks awesome. After that little adventure, we found a café and ate good panini, croissants, et great chocolat chaud. Then we wandered. Through the rain. In April. In Paris. What more could you want from life?

I avoided using an umbrella, not just because Andrea kept hitting me in the head, but because the rain felt awesome. No words can describe April in Paris. No words I knew at the time, anyway. Apparently the only adjectives I knew then were incredible, awesome, and amazing. There I was, in this fabulous outdoor museum flavored with all of the spices of history, and I can’t find words to describe April in Paris? I mean, here is a city that smells of fresh bread every morning, that houses many of the greatest works of art ever conjured up from the souls of man, that has practically become synonymous with romance, and I can’t find any words. Geesh. We walked through Luxembourg Gardens, just wandered until we sat for awhile until wandering past the Arc down champs elysées, where we bought tickets for L’homme avec le mask de fer, version orignale. The Man with the Iron Mask. Was that Leonardo DeCaprio? While waiting, we ate at Haagen Daas, then saw the movie, which was good, except the end, which said Louis XIV was the greatest French king. It was quite embarrassing, really. French people in the theater actually laughed when that statement was made. Metro returned us to place de Republique, where Andrea prostituted herself before we went to McDonald’s. (A guy on the street offered her a credit card for some reason.) Oh, I forgot about Perry/Paris, the flour filled balloon. Enough said. No, not enough said, because I have no idea what this was. Anyway, we got back after 1:30am and crashed. [UGLY FRENCH GUY STARTING AT ME DESPITE BEING A METRE AWAY]

Got up late again this morning. Went back to the Latin Quartier against the wishes of Matt. Our café was closed but we found the Grand Bistrot with menus for 42 francs. Incredible food. Salade, turkey with Normandy sauce et frites, desert. A whole desert. Must have been dry. Fairly cheap. We hadn’t realized how close we were to Notre Dame and its scaffolded front. Every time I see it, it gets more incredible. Walked to Musée D’orsay. Line was too long. Listened to a violinist busking. It was awesome just sitting there, listening. It started pouring. I was wandering. We met back together after an hour and headed over to Gare de l’est but waited an hour to avoid the supplement on the earlier train. And here I sit. This was the best weekend of the entire semester.

There's something enchanting about Paris that you don't find in other places, but I can't put my finger on it. It's like you go in there with certain expectations, and you expect those expectations to be unattainable as expectations usually are, but it's as good as advertised every time. I've had similar feelings about New York. Sometimes you find yourself awed at the fact that you're there, as if it were a fantasyland that had come to life. I love Paris in a different way than I love most places, but I would say it is similar to how I feel about New York. I suppose you could say that there are certain places on this planet where there are things "happening," where people write books and paint masterpieces and somehow manage to capture what this thing is we call "soul." And I think the reason that Paris and New York are different from other places of the arts, such as Florence, is that they are the cultural and economic centers of their respective countries, whereas a country like Italy has its soul scattered over Florence, Milan, Rome, and others.

I feel like I've been sent back to 1998, because I'm struggling to find the words for what I want to say.

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