Papillon Social-C’est Moi!

October 1, 2009

Is “social butterfly” an expression in France? Probably not, but I am making it one for today. I mentioned yesterday that my social life was starting to look up, but in fact that was an understatement. Today was actually a record!  I had 4 separate outings with 6 different people, and I saw 2 museums, 2 parks, one restaurant, and one apartment. While I love certain aspects of living the the country (Fleur-de-Lys Farm and Sweet Briar) the fact that I now live in a city with a giant metro system is proving to be endlessly entertaining! Oh, and speaking of the metro, I finally got my Carte Imaginaire in the mail, which means that I will not be buying those silly paper metro tickets anymore!!!

I’ll run through my day in a mostly chronological fashion. I woke up and stretched out my arm to check the time on my phone, and then BOLTED out of bed when I realized that I had slept until 10:30! I took a shower and puttered around my room a little before eating breakfast in the hopes of fooling my host family into thinking I’d been up for ages and had only just decided to eat, but it turned out to be okay. My host mother was still in her pajamas and my host brother and a friend of his who had spent the night (he currently doesn’t really have a home?) were just sitting down to eat as well. During this unusually populated breakfast Tiburce (my oldest host brother) invited me to see the Centre Pompidou with him since I had never been. (For those of you who don’t know, the Centre Pompidou is the large modern art museum in Paris.)

Rendez-vous numéro 1. Lunch was just Andy and I in the Jardin eating sandwiches and talking to the crêpe lady. Today’s sandwich was chicken, and today’s crêpe, for the record, was Grand Marnier. Always delicious, though not ideal if a sink is not available, since liqueur and melted sugar tends to make things sticky! Andy and I also noticed one of the installations for Nuit Blanche. It appears to be a giant disco ball, about oh, 10 feet in diameter. If that is any indication, this coming Saturday night is going to be fantastic! But I digress.

Rendez-vous numéro 2. I met up with Tiburce, his friend Pierre (I already know 3 Frenchmen named Pierre-it really is that popular of a name) and Pierre’s lovely girlfriend who’s name I unfortunately missed. Pierre’s girlfriend works at the Centre Pompidou so she got us in for free, which was very nice of her! I felt like a VIP just walking through everything and cutting in line as she waved her card at the security guards! She unfortunately had to go back to work, but the boys and I explored the current exhibition instead of the permanent collection. The current exhibit is of Surrealist photography and film, and it included many works by Salvador Dali, Man Ray, René Magritte, and various others. It was interesting, but I would have liked it much better had it been paintings. Tiburce described most of it as (to paraphrase and translate from French) a bunch of bored bourgeoisie taking pictures that required very little technical skill, and resulting in photographs that anyone could end up with after a vacation. Rather harsh, but sadly, rather accurate. I am still very glad that I saw it though, as I now know much more about the subject. I also know that the Surrealists sure looked like they had a lot of fun-though I think in many cases, it was a bit too much!

The Infamous Front of the Centre Georges Pompidou

The Infamous Front of the Centre Georges Pompidou

The poster for the exhibition

The poster for the exhibition

The infamous fountain at the Centre

The infamous fountain at the Centre

Rendez-vous numéro 3. After the exhibit I said goodbye to Tiburce and Pierre and I joined Aisha for another museum excursion. We failed to find the musée Picasso, so we ended up instead at the musée Carnavalet, which is in the Marais. It was free, because we didn’t venture into the exhibition, merely the permanent collection (we arrived only an hour before closing time) but it was still nice to see. There was an abundance of paintings of bridges, city-scapes (always Paris), models of bridges, and portraits of men in wigs.  There was some nice French furniture (the museum moves chronologically starting with late medieval if I recall correctly and ending with 17th or 18th century, but unfortunately the Louis XIV rooms were being revamped, so we missed all of that, which is probably the most interesting). After leaving the museum, Aisha and I decided that we were SO glad the Impressionists came along in the 19th century to throw a wrench into the world of classical art. As Aisha explained, the artists at the museum, painting in the classical academic style, even managed to make burning bridges and raging fires look pleasant and tame. As you can tell, I was a critic of the art world today, for better or for worse. After this we had tea in Aisha’s apartment, and I met her host father, who was very nice, especially about me coming over uninvited! I didn’t take any pictures in the museum (they weren’t allowed) but I did take a picture of some neat stencil graffiti on the sidewalk!

IMG_3205

Rendez-vous numéro 4. I jumped on the metro after tea and sped over to the rue du Passy, where I met up with Nathalie and her boyfriend Pierre for sushi dinner! We ate at Matsuri which is a chain of  sushi belt restaurants in Paris. It’s a lot of fun, because you just pick what you want off of the conveyor belt! Different colored plates have different prices, but I managed to eat well without paying too much-you just have to stay away from the black (5 euro) plates! We ate and talked for a really long time, and I was brave enough to sprinkle in a little bit of French! They are such wonderful company, and the sushi was fantastic! I have definitely missed it since I’ve been in France! After dinner we sweet-talked our way into Monoprix just before closing so that we could buy ice cream. We ate Haagen-Dazs on the lawn in front of Trocodero while looking at the Tour Eiffel. Good food and wonderful company and something as beautiful as the Tour Eiffel all in one sitting made me feel like a character at the end of a really happy movie! It was one of those moments when everything felt so surreal…

Pierre and Nathalie

Pierre and Nathalie

I promise that this really was taken by me from right where I sat!

I promise that this really was taken by me from right where I sat!

…much more surreal and lovely than any staged Man Ray photographs in an exhibit!

I apologize if this is a bit scattered, but it’s after 2 A.M, so I am quite tired! And as an end note; Megan, I wore my Snuggie the entire time that I wrote this, and it was fantastic! A bientôt!


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2 Responses to “Papillon Social-C’est Moi!”

  1. mom said

    What a great day! Pierre and Nathalie are such a beautiful couple 🙂

  2. Megan said

    YAY!
    Loved this! Especially the part where you mention wearing the snuggie! ❤ ❤ <3!!!!

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