Saturday, October 15, 2011
I have mentioned we've been eating, right?
But we have been waking a bit earlier and managing to get out and see a bit of the world. We get the newspaper and walk over to one of our favorite cafés in the middle of tourist St-Germain des Prés for coffee and the crossword puzzle and a bit of people-watching.
Lots of English speakers; many of them not native but German, Scandinavian, Italian or Eastern European who use English as a common language when traveling. It's usually the language the café waiter can most easily understand if the customer doesn't speak French. Not to say there aren't a lot of Americans and British as well, along with the occasional Australian.
I've been walking a bit slower than usual since I have a bit of residual difficulty after my back surgery and felt some comradeship with this building, whose vertebrae seem to lack much cushioning between them.
The sun has finally come out for the first time since we arrived and we've been promised three days of it before the gray returns, and maybe another day or two next week. Lunch yesterday on a sunny café terrace allowed us to shed our jackets and enjoy a salade Nicoise.
The "Cezanne and Paris" exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg was interesting, but yet another example of how curators reach for themes that don't really support an exhibit. Cezanne did work in Paris, coming back and forth from his native and beloved Provence for most of his life, but little of the work was specifically about Paris and other than three or four cityscapes location wasn't particularly important to the work in the show.
Last summer we went to Normandy to see a show of the work Bonnard did after moving there and that was interesting because it was completely different than the city-based interiors I had known him for. That wasn't the case with the Cezannes, but it was a show worth seeing nonetheless.
Apparently there has been a rash of telephone thefts, mostly iPhones and smartphones I imagine, in the metro and on buses, inspiring the authorities to suggest you be careful using them in public. The pickpocket who took Gene's phone out of his pocket must have been terribly surprised to get the cheapie Nokia we bought for 24 euros in Italy two years ago.
Nonetheless, it caused us to waste an afternoon looking for another cheapie phone (yeah Darty!) and the enormous frustration of trying to program it and understand how to use it. Luckily our landlady's 23 year old grandson was kind enough to spend some time helping out. What do you do if you don't have an available under 25 year old around?