Also from my journal, today:
“It is so cold out right now. My first real winter has officially begun.It’s so funny to se how everyone is dressed; you can tell who’s lived in winter his/her whole life, and who, like me, was previously unaware of the concept of “seasons”. Who knew that I could bond with my scarf in such little time. It is now more like a strangely colored appendage than an independent article of clothing. This whole winter deal is pretty fun though. I am sitting in Starbucks right now (I know, I know) and everyone around me appears to be drinking their coffee at a glacial (ha! Ha! So cold!) speed, putting off reentering the outdoors for as long as possible. (Or maybe it’s because coffee in Paris is so fecking expensive; they want to get their 4.30 euros worth.)
I feel I have really gotten a taste of Parisian life in my few days here. Yesterday I took the metro (all by myself! Yay for self-sufficiency!) to Montmarte, which is where all the artists (like Renoir, nbd) used to hang out/live (can I get a hipsters-of-their-time please?!). I walked up the 3.2 million stairs to reach the Basilique Du Sacre Coeur, which is where, among other things:
- You can see a view of the whole city
- That scene in “Amelie” (when she’s trying to find the mystery guy) takes place
One of my favorite things about traveling alone is that I can go wherever I want, at whatever pace I want. (“Daddy, I want a squiiiiiiiiiiiiirrel!”) So, I walked up the staris slowly, as is my way, pausing every now and then to turn around and
- Take in the city-scape
- Congratulate myself for having conquered another 7 – 10 steps
Right near the church there was a Christmas market – and a guy playing “La Vie en Rose” on the harp! Best moment – with all these stalls of hot wine, crepes, soaps, and other really essential items. Because I had no one hurrying me along, I paused in front of this stall with all these wooden mind-twister-puzzle things. Of course once I started the puzzle, I had to finish it, both to satiate my obsessive need for completion, and also to show the stall owner that despite my inability to speak French, I do indeed have a fully-functional brain.
I went into the church about 30 minutes later, right around when the wind began its personal attack on my body temperature/happiness, instilling within in me a strong desire for chapstick (cherry) and thick, insulated walls. The church was pretty, but I don’t really remember anyting special about it (sorry). What I do remember is a little machine where you could put in 2 euros and get back a souvenir coin with a little engraving of the Basilique Du Sacre Coeur. This did make me pause and wonder. Mostly about the process behind deciding that 2 euros was the right price for a coin sans any monetary value. But also about why this clanky machine with neon lights was literally inside this church that’s older than my grandma’s grandma’s grandma.
Well, I did some other stuff yesterday – spent 20 minutes trying to unlock the old, slightly stuck door of Migi’s flat; ate a French burger (so! good!) at midnight; made a computer collage of neo-impressionist artwork and challah – but now I really gotta go. Ciao ciao!”