After The Husband had his wallet lifted from his front pocket on a Paris metro ride in March, I’ve been a real scared chicken. This trip I am carrying a purse, a money belt and a money belt (yes, two). Like a squirrel in October, I have also stashed Euro, various credit cards and an ATM card in my shoes and the drawers of my hotel room.
The only problem, which maybe you’ve anticipated, is I’ve lost track of my Euro and baby needs a new pair of shoes. Honestly baby could go for some food right about now but I’m too tired to go through all my shoes looking for that Euro.
So without the will to look for money and without the further will to put on pants, I’ve been holed up in my room for the entire afternoon. But I did munch on a bee today.
This, I place squarely on one John Reid’s shoulders as it was he who instructed me to eat Berthillon ice cream. I’ve had Berthillon before and it’s pretty good so I told John I was on it. I was cruising past ye ol’ Île Saint Louis today shopping for one Cynthia Reid’s toothpaste (more on that later) when I happened past Berthillon and ordered my usual frambroise. Now is the part where I should mention the Reids are a married couple not in France who are apparently trained puppeteers because I… Anyway, I was handed my framboise with a Merci and a Bonne Journée and was sauntering along the Pont Marie when I crunched into something, spit it out, and let me just say it wasn’t the bees knees it was the whole damn bee and it was frozen. This made my framboise less desirable.
Back then to the toothpaste. When I went to find Ms Reid’s toothpaste the druggist brought something from the back of the counter. Now when a druggist brings something from the back of the counter I say, “Yes, please”, because it’s the good stuff. But this good stuff was $15 Euro and I know Cynthia Reid very well which is why I know she’s not spending $15 Euro on toothpaste. I need to find the toothpaste which I can grab from a shelf for 3 Euro without needing a trench coat and a code name.
During, shall we say my faire des courses for The Reids, I took a gander at the Notre Dame from all angles. It is unrecognizable from the back. And the gargoyles are just sad little beasts. They look those birds you see after an oil spill. I love this building. I love that it is the true center of Paris and it’s my compass when I’m here. I love the art inside and outside. I adore the grand organ music and revel in the tolling of the bells.
How whether or not to rebuild it has gotten political is baffling. Of course the building should be reconstructed. Of course French’s wealthiest citizens and corporations should kick in and the government must ensure this jewel of a building—a building steeped in centuries of history—is rebuilt and opened again to the people of the world. The opposition says the money should go toward what they feel are far more noble causes. But my trip around the barriers that surround the Notre Dame today revealed to me what is at stake. Entire businesses are suffering: food stores, brasseries, souvenirs shops and tourist offices. Those are the very essence of Paris!
This building is art. It is. And there are those that argue that art education and public funding for the arts should be a mainstay of every civilized government yet these same people are crying that the Notre Dame is a religious relic and needs to be undone.
Pardon the rant. I haven’t eaten in a long time because of that bee and I can’t find my money.
But I’ve got no choice now but to venture out on my last day tomorrow. There’s still the elusive toothpaste to buy, my sister’s pillow and my other sister’s purse. Hey? They’re all puppeteers! Which makes me…