Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Un jour des hommes etranges

So, first of all, my fruit tart was delicious. However, today was not so fruity. I spent all morning getting ready and trying to decide if I should skip class. While walking to the metro, I decided it was the only day I could skip and a 3 hour lecture just seemed ridiculous. So, I decided to take the morning (since I was already up) and do work. We took the bus to campus which took over an hour (not the most efficient method of transportation) and I went to Starbucks and got a latte. Only problem was you can’t get internet there. The instructions were in French and terribly confusing so I’m not sure if there is a way but I gave up and went to the computer lab. I hung out in the lounge until my computer died, then did more work in the lab (after having many technical difficulties with the computers).

At 12:30 I decided to walk to France Tourism and attempt to go on the Giverny tour. Yes, by myself. I was feeling independent and decided I really needed to do at least one of the six day trips I had been wanting to do. I walked about two miles into the center of the city only to find out they were booked. Ugh. I emailed, Facebooked, and texted a classmate, hoping they didn’t leave to do something fun right from class. I bought a sandwich and took the metro home, terribly disappointed.

When I got back, I knocked on my friend’s door, figuring it was a lost cause. But, she was home! So we spent the rest of the day in Montmartre, crossing another thing off the list. However, the trip was not without its adventures. Montmartre is known for their pickpockets so as if I’m not already super cautious, I was especially anxious about my wallet which was safely at the bottom of my zipped-up bag. But, we took lots of pictures, wandered through Sacre-Coeur (including the crypt!) and went to souvenir shops and bought some touristy things. While wandering to find the Moulin Rouge, a creepy man set me up for a beggar trap. He was at least creative. He pretended to walk by us and find a gold ring and then tried to “do me a favor” and sell it to me for the price of a coffee. It took me a second to catch on (a second too long, now that I think about it). I mean come one, I’m a 21 (yes, still 21) year-old girl. You think I don’t know what real gold looks like?

Next, we wandered up a side street to get a look at the Moulin de la Gallette. They were cleaning the streets and a car drove by and sprayed us. A street cleaner explained to us (in very fast French) that it was Seine water (not comforting) and then told us to beware of pickpockets. Then he kissed us on both cheeks and asked us to take pictures with him. I was torn between amusement and being afraid of another money ploy. But, he was just generally entertaining.

We finally found the Moulin Rouge and took lots of pictures. It reminded me of a Broadway theater. Then, we got Starbucks (just needed a taste of home) and I started my Starbucks mug collection with a “Paris” mug. I still need a New York one….

We took the metro home and I’ve never been on a train so crowded. You literally couldn’t move if you tried and this time it took me only a few seconds to realize someone was attempting to pickpocket me. On a crowded train, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the way his arm was bent and proceeded to move between people was a little too suspicious. The old man standing in front of me suddenly grabbed his pocket and it confirmed my suspicion. The train got a little less crowded with every stop and unfortunately the pickpocketer got off at our stop. He was way too creepy. I kept my eye on him but I think I started to channel the rage from when I was pickpocketed last year. Jerk.

Anyway, we made it home safe and sound and with our wallets in tact. We tried to rent bikes to see the city. They only cost 1 euro but they wanted a 150 euro deposit. Forget it. We bought quiche and went home. Now, it’s homework time. Ugh. But tomorrow is my birthday (which I keep forgetting about). I think we have some good plans. A haunted Paris tour? We’ll see ….

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