Another day of cold and rain in Paris. This is not the summer weather we expected in Paris. It feels like Ireland. My assumption is that this weather snuck into our suitcases and came into France undetected. Therefore, I must accept at least partial blame for what the long range forecast says will be at least two more weeks of rain and highs of 16C/65F. My apologies, Paris.
This comes as the Paris Plages is due to begin on Thursday. Please click the link for complete details. This is a month long celebration where the banks of the Seine are lined with sand to simulate beaches. Deck chairs, volleyball nets, etc. are provided as well. Then it’s party time from 8:00 AM to midnight every day! This year bring your own raincoat or umbrella or both. There was no sign today that the city has begun to spread the sand.
Jean’s cold is hanging on so I decided to venture out by myself to Musee d’Orsay today. The bus stopped in front of our building as I stepped out and dropped me at the Louvre 20 minutes later. Then the fun began. I walked through a steady drizzle for about 1.5 kilometers to the d’Orsay. There was a line of people winding around the block and up the river front, but I thought it was no big deal because I have a membership pass! I went to the entrance and then followed the line right back to the bridge. Along the way I asked an American couple near the front how long they had been waiting…90 minutes! When I saw the rest of the line I decided to outwit everyone and go to Musee l’Orangerie instead. It has a marveloue Impressionist collection. I walked across the bridge and through the Tuleries only to find that Musee l’Orangerie is closed on Tuesdays.
By then my pants were soaking wet. I decided to stop into a cafe and enjoy some hot chocolate while sketching the habitues. However, due to the rain all the cafes were full…no one wanted to sit on the sidewalk. I gave up and caught the bus back to rue de Charonne. A stop to get some wine, cheese, a baguette, and kleenex (for Jean) and I was back home.
One adventure along the way was being approached by a cute little French woman on the bank of the Seine. (Eat your hearts out guys.) She “found” a gold ring on the sidewalk as I was approaching, exclaimed her delight in such a find (in French), and went on her way. Then she called me from behind and asked if I thought the ring was gold. I looked at it and confirmed that it said 18k inside. She exclaimed her happiness again and promptly offered me the ring “for luck.” I declined and suggested in my pigeon French that she give it to her boyfriend. She said she wanted to give it to me so I would have luck and she would have luck. She put it in my hand and then asked if I could just give her a little something to buy food. Aha! After a few back and forths of “No” and “Yes, luck” I put the ring firmly on her finger and suggested that she sell it if she was hungry. (By this time I deduced that she understood more English than was first apparent.) She stuck out her lower lip (as only Parisian girls can) and I walked away. I glanced back and she was walking away. However, when I got about 100 yards further I looked back and she had retraced her route to the same corner and was standing there looking for another mark. I guess I could have had a gold ring for a couple of Euro. What do you think?
Another event today is that the apartment managers posted bulletins (in French, so I’m not sure of the translation) that the electrical service would be cut of for part of the day. It seemed that the sign said between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM. We slept a bit late and just were moving around 9. We soon discovered that the internet connection wasn’t working. Okay, maybe the power work was affecting it. We never saw the power go off in our apartment, but this afternoon/evening we have the internet again. Just another adventure in a foreign land.
With rain forecast for two weeks we must get used to it. Tomorrow is another day.