Tuesday, September 12, 2006
September 3rd &4th in Paris
September 3rd, 2006: My only complaints from the trip so far have to be the shop hours and the prices of everything. This city is freaking nocturnal. Nothing is open before noon and the normal supper dining time is approximately 9 p.m. It's 3:30 in the morning right now and our apartment is right on top of a bar so lots of French people are still whooping it up, on a Monday no less. Blame my bitterness on jet lag, please. When I went to bed after being awake for 30 hours straight I expected to sleep a little longer than 6 hours. Hopefully this incessant journaling will invoke some extra fatigue in me. On to the prices. Where are all my Euros disappearing to? I've only bought 3 postcards, 3 international stamps and phone card, 2 french Vogues, 2 pairs of eiffel tower earrings, a t-shirt, ballet flats, scarves and a change purse so far! Okay. That sounds like a lot in restrospect, but most of it isn't for me and it feels I'm wasting my money before the trip is even half over! More nasty financial news includes the utter uselessness of Traveller's Cheques. No one will accept them. Why oh why did I choose to invest half of my money in the social pariah of European tender? I'd better get my ass over to a bank and use my mangled french to changes those little bugger. The only thing holding me back is the fact that banks are never open. Clearly French bankers have better things to do than work. Actually, it appears that way for everyone in the Latin Quarter, where I am staying. Stores open and close whenever they please and the people actually shopping look far too laid back to ever have worked a day in their lives. The only "active" places are; the Jardin du Plantes where everyone jogs, and the subway in the mornings...
September 4th, 2006: Today's morning activity involves going to Paris' premiere flea-market Clignancourt. I expected it to be vintage 7th heaven but in reality it's a jumble of ethnic scarves, Rastafarian gewgaws and Dooney & Bourke knockoffs. I'm slightly disappointed but at least I came out with a fabulous open-backed red dress with white stars all over it. Note to self: never wear this dress with blue. I do not want to look like an ultra-patriotic Bush-supporter. The afternoon's activity involved Montmartre, the district of Amelie, bohemian artists and porn. Van Gogh, Chagalle and Picasso all worked here at one point, and modern-day artists continue the tradition in an entire square devoted to "artists for hire" who will draw your portrait for a price. It was here where I bought 2 gorgeous Eiffel towel prints and a black patent leather tote that says "Paris" on it, and the "a" is an Eiffel tower and there is a heart on there somewhere as well. It sounds tacky but is actually quite cute. To a tacky girl like me, I suppose. Something else utterly tacky is the fact my aunt said "this isn't a shopping trip, Isabel". What? Not a shopping trip? Of course it's a fucking shopping trip. Do you think I came to Paris to eat fatty foods and get laid thrice daily? No. Just because you took me to a porn district...Yes, Montmartre is the home of the Moulin Rouge and is chock full of dirty little video shops. No wonder Picasso liked it here.