E-Mailing Through Europe >> Paris, France 2001
Paris, ContinuedDate: Fri, 3 Aug 2001 09:16:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: k p firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: One Last Thing
I'm writing this not because I like to write, but because I had forgotten to send Mom's regards to everyone on this list, including the people she's never met.
So, regards from Linda Press. You can reply with your kind thoughts directly to her at email@example.com.
And since we've done a lot since yesterday afternoon, I'll fill you in. Most impressively, Mom biked around Paris with me from 7:30 pm to midnight on a "Mike's Bikes" tour last night. I did the same by myself in Munich three years ago, and thought she'd enjoy it. She did, though it was tiring.
We stopped for ice cream (which became dinner) on the Ile de Cite, rode through the Louvre gardens, along Boulevard St. Michel (sketchy traffic by Mom's standards, not sketchy enough for me) and eventually took a boat ride along the Seine river sans bikes though avec le vin. Very romantic, except for the fact that I was with my mother. She sends her regards, by the way.
The bike tour itself was given by Ben, a junior at Texas A&M after the summer ends. He wasn't that dynamic a speaker, unfortunately. His delivery was a lot like Norm MacDonald, except Ben was even less funny than Norm. (Which I had thought was impossible, until I met Ben.) The only people on the tour who responded to Ben were two 14 year-old-boys, and Ben targeted his comments to them. We didn't learn much we didn't know, except, like, you know, the Notre Dame is like, you know, a cathedral. And, like, there are some buttresses, dude, that, like, you know, support the whole, uh, church. Heh, heh. He said "Butt." Dude. Rock on.
One amusing thing happened on the boat, though. The loudspeakers on the boat offered information about different sites on land as we passed them, such as: "On your left is the Eiffel Tower, which was built in 18..." When we passed the Assemblee Nationale, the loudspeaker informed us that it's the place where "legislators pass laws and keep an eye on the budget." That's a particularly ironic way of pointing out the duties of the Assemblee, as Jacques Chirac, the current President of France, is in a bit of trouble because he spent the tax dollars of hard-working French people on personal vacations for his family when he was mayor of Paris.
It's sort of like saying that the US Congress is where Republican lawmakers keep an eye on oil industry executives as they write national energy and environmental policy.
Bikes returned and exhausted, we took le Metro back to the apartment and fell asleep.
Today, we returned to the Louvre gardens, and then went inside the musee itself. It's big. It's got a lot of paintings. What else can one say about it? The Egyptian exhibit that I wanted to see was closed today, unfortunately, so we had to settle for the Greek and Roman artifacts, cleverly housed in the former chambres of Charles X. It was hard to decide which were more beautiful. I have to give the nod to Charles' rooms. He was a lucky man, as he got to live in the Louvre and unlike some of his successors, he got to keep his head, too.
After the Louvre, we walked to the Arc De Triomphe, and then to the Jardins de Luxemborg, where I write this and where Mom is sketching the gardens and sending her regards, personally, to each of you.
Paris is such a great city to walk through, and it's making it a bit easier to remember that tomorrow I'll be home in New York City, which is so much like Paris, except the bread isn't nearly as good.
Tomorrow: Seat 43J.