The Highs and Lows

Joan humored me with shoe shopping this week but I didn’t have much luck. One day I passed by a crowd–nay, mob–gathering outside a shoe store advertising final liquidation. Naturally, I joined in. It was raucous with a drunk man acting like a Border Collie trying to corral the crowd and a French woman telling him to spew his crackers elsewhere (he looked like he had rabies). After I told her my French was not good but I had understood that, she jokingly told me to the back of the line because I didn’t live in the district, which I disputed telling her that I live on rue Charles d’Ivry and the crowd went, “Ooh!” Then everyone laughed. We were then begged by the crowd control guard to please go home which I did. But I left realizing the whole conversation had been in French. I guess I just need a smoking hot shoe sale to raise my level of fluency.

I am fluent in Boots in three languages.
I am fluent in Boots in three languages.
Here are some Highs and Lows from the week:
Highs:
1.  Due to an unfortunate and inaccurate Fahrenheit to Celsius calculation on my part, everyone in class R310 at Alliance Francaise Paris now believes that, on average, Oklahoma City is 120 degrees in the summer.
2.  Joan found out that she has to take the DELF for her class. The DELF is a test whose first letter stands for Diploma. The rest of the acronym really doesn’t matter, does it?  No wonder I have been enjoying class more than she.  Mine is for play. Hers is for keeps. Wouldn’t that be something if she comes home with a diploma!!?
3.  After talking with other people about their Paris accommodations, I’m feeling more and more that our apartment is a real bargain. Liz, a Brit, was complaining on our walk home from school about her postage stamp sized apartment. I told her we had a washer and dryer. She gasped. I told her we had an oven. She was visibly shaken. I told her we had a dishwasher. She stopped walking and I think I saw a tear. I stopped short of telling her about our maid that comes once a week. I didn’t think she would live through that.
4.  Montmartre and Sacre Coeur. Wow! What a view. It is worth seeing even if there are signs warning of pickpockets everywhere. There is a funicular (elevator/escalator combo) that will take you to the top (free with Navigo). It is otherwise an arduous climb. Once at the top, the Place du Tertre, the artists’ square, can be found on a winding street. It is hard to imagine when Place du Tertre hosted artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Dali and Picasso. Now there are just loads of artists who will sketch your portrait in charcoal.
Joan waiting for the funicular to take us to the top of Montmartre
Joan waiting for the funicular to take us to the top of Montmartre
That tall building to the right is Montparnasse Towers. We live close to that. Out of view to our right is the Eiffel Tower.
That tall building to the right is Montparnasse Tower. We live close to that. Out of view to our right is the Eiffel Tower.
View from the bottom of Montmartre looking at Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur
Lows:
1.  The Abessess metro stop, the most deeply submerged metro in Paris.
This metro is the deepest one in Paris. It is five or six flights of stairs below the street level.
This metro is the deepest one in Paris. It is five or six flights of stairs below the street level.
2.  Being stopped for setting off the security alarm at Au Printemps and having to show her that “Yes, I had purchased Chanel lipstick but I bought it at a cheap store”.
Getting stopped for setting off the Au Printemps security alarm because of my cheap Chanel lipstick.
Getting stopped for setting off the Au Printemps security alarm because of my cheap Chanel lipstick.

P.s. I did find some boots this week and now I have three new blisters. Both a high and a low.

This is how people move in and out of centuries old buildings in Paris. Portable elevators!
This is how people move in and out of centuries old buildings in Paris. Portable elevators!
Love this pink bike against the vining cemetery wall. Hemingway lived on Rue Froidevaux with his second wife, Pauline.
Love this pink bike against the vining cemetery wall. Hemingway lived on Rue Froidevaux with his second wife, Pauline.
A plaque indicating where de Beauvoir spent her last years. When taking this picture, behind me is the wall to the cemetery where she is buried.
A plaque indicating where de Beauvoir spent her last years. When taking this picture, behind me is the wall to the cemetery where she is buried.
I went with Ursula from class to the Montparnasse Cemetery. We found Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartres grave
I went with Ursula from class to the Montparnasse Cemetery. We found Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartres grave
This was an art exposition at the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Arts. The art is by Yue Minjun. This is how our French class looks when we are doing phonetics warm ups (except we aren't naked).
This was an art exposition at the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Arts. The art is by Yue Minjun. This is how our French class looks when we are doing phonetics warm ups (except we aren’t naked).

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