sunday, june 9 (sorry for small continuity break)
found place #3. not bad. I confirmed talked to the proprietor and confirmed there's no curfew before accepting this hotel. this will be important later in the movie.
monday, june 10
see earlier posts.
when the landlord saw that whitney, cassandra, and I were sharing one room with one big bed, he called me mr. big (in english). the monicker has stuck thus far.
monday night, we went to queen - "the biggest gay club in paris" as recommended by scott the gay guy. the drinks at the club had lids like at movies. it was great for dancing (without spillage) and preventing ghb date rape. we saw virtually continuous signs about "GHB peut te tuer! ne buvez pas de boissons inconnus" (ghb can kill you! don't drink unknown drinks). I danced on the go-go box.
on the way to queen (the biggest gay club in paris), we stopped at the arc de triomphe and a mcdonalds on the champs elysee at like 1 am. this was The Way To Visit (capitalized after the style of karinlewicki (theodora)) such touristey locations. the last time I was in paris, I deliberated on the topic of whether or not I should eat at a mcdonalds. I decided that time, and again this time, that if I were a regular mcdonalds eater, a trip to MacDo would be warranted. but as I haven't eaten at mcdonalds since the prior halloween (I have great pictures), and even that was just for a sundae, I didn't feel like it was worth it. but at 1 am on the champs elysee, worth it it is.
tuesday, june 11
went to montmartre for the dali museum. it was great... more than most museums, it had explanations of each piece. not just where the artist was and what medium it is. but an opinion about what the artist was saying. both in english and french. incidentally, the english and french said very different things. the only problem was that some of the explanations were a big haughty. saying things like "and by this, the artist is clearly stating..." as if to say that if I didn't see it (which I almost always didn't), or if I had a different opinion then I'm clearly a moron who cannot drink the wine in front of me. vintage notwithstanding, I really liked the art. and I really liked the explanations as a museum curator technique.
on the street, I saw this family of 3 arguing with a street portraitist and his partner. the portraitists looked sleazy and greasy and reminded me of honest john and gideon. the portraitists were demanding payment and the family was saying that they didn't understand what was going on and that they didn't realize that money was required. on the one hand, I say how naive can you be. on the other hand, a lot of the street vendors very very strongly imply that they're giving you something for free. the portraitists used such underhanded techniques as addressing the child involved and saying "hey kid, do you like it?" and to the parents "the child likes it... think of your child."
we ate at our then favorite resteraunt of the trip. it was italian and we had pizza and pasta. at the end of the meal, I told the waiter that we'd been in paris a while and this meal was our very favorite so far. the waiter was great and when I told him we were from los angeles, he got a very wistful look and said that he's always wanted to live there and he vicariously does live in the perpetual party "paradis" (his word) that is los angeles through reality tv. all righty. when I told him we felt the same about paris, he looked exactly how I felt when he told me about dreamy LA. the smog is always greener...
montmartre has a "octobre vendange" (october wine dance) which is a grape stomping festival as near as I could tell from talking to the cool waiter. it's the first week in october, who's coming with me?
we stopped by notre dame (again). I confessed, sort of. while I was sitting, first in line at the confessional, the priest finished with the now-clean sinner and came out and announced that he was only taking confession for 5-10 more minutes. I felt bad about using that time for myself when there was (presumably) a real live catholic sinner waiting in line behind me. but I talked to him nonetheless.
I walked in and told him my name, asked how to address him (he said father), and told him I'm not catholique. that I don't have any religion or god (soft jelly notwithstanding) in my life, that I don't particularly have any intention of converting to catholicism, but that I try things with an open mind and I'm here. basically, he told me I'm not really happy with my life and that I'm searching for something. that the church can help me make sense of thigns that I can't currenltly make sense of by giving me examples (presumably wwjd examples). he said that I should have a longer conversation with him than what he has time for now. I could set an appointment, I could come back tomorrow during confession and get maybe 15-20 minutes, or he can give me the name of someone in the states. I was curious to talk to him again, but I doubted I'd have time and I really doubted I'd talk to someone from the church at home. I told him I'd try to make it back while I was in paris.
late tuesday night, whitney stayed in the room and cassandra and I went out. well, at first we tried. there was nobody down at the front desk to let us back in when we returned. they hadn't given us the code to the door because they had said that there's always someone there to let you in. so we sat and whispered/talked in the lobby for an hour or so. then when we had to pee, we were going to risk going out by propping open the door so we wouldn't need the code and we wouldnt' be locked out. as we were leaving, some guy came in by using the code. we opened the door for him, he gave us the code, and we were off!
we walked to the "gay bi trans" bar a block from our hotel. we walked some more. we found a lesbian bar. at this lesbian bar, it had male/female insignias with welcome or circle crosses... 2 women ok. man and woman ok. 2 women and man ok. 2 men and woman ok. 2 men not welcome. we found an automated video store... like insert your credit card, select from our wide range of movies, and watch your video/dvd pop out. we found a pizza place still open. we ate pizza and drank light orange sodas.
then we attempted to walk back to the hotel and got lost.
we stopped a taxi and asked him to take us back to the hotel. he said he shouldn't bother because our street was "right here" and pointed us on our way. we walk around for another 20 minutes looking for it. we hail another cab. it's the same guy (many many cabs have driven by and it's total coincidence that it's the same guy). we ask him to just take us there. it was a 3 euro cab ride. the meter starts at 2 euros. getting back to the apartment from the pizza place took about an hour. it would have been a 5-10 minute walk if we'd walked directly.
but cassandra and I had an excellent conversation during the whole thing and it was a great time.
wednesday, june 12
took some really cool pictures of cassandra on the bed. a few of the digital ones were really cool. I hope the film ones work as well... I sort of fear they won't. but who knows.
we went walking up and down rue mouffetarde (again). we got gelatto roses (again). the gelatto is amazing and the rose is amazing and the rose-making process is amazing.
one of the ladies in a dress store was so confused that I, myself, wanted to try on a dress... as opposed to translating for whitney or cassandra. you'd think they'd be less confused about such things. oh well.
we finally made it to tavarnier. it's a shoe store on rue mouffetard. I say finally because our quest started days ago in the metro. for background info, cassandra's shoes broke somewhat a while ago and we've been planning on shoe shopping... we've unsuccessfully looked for shoes for her. we were exiting the metro when we saw a 30ish woman walking ahead of us and cassandra liked her shoes. so I went up to her and told her that my friends like her shoes. she didn't realize I was talking to her until I was just a few feet away. when she turned and saw me, she had quite a fright and squeaked appropriately. sorry about that. she was so happy that I wasn't a badguy that when I asked where she got her shoes, she was happy to help me. she told me the name of the store and that it was on rue mouffetard (this inspired trip to rue mouffetard #1) and showed me rue mouffetard on the map that whitney had. so when we got to tavernier on trip to rue mouffetard #1, it was closed. dude. so we went back. this time they were open and both whitney and cassandra bought shoes. I recounted the story to the patron of the shop was was extremely amused. amused by my french, by the story, and amused that we'd just bought 2 or 3 paris of shoes.
we had dunch at our now favorite resteraunt (claiming the title from the monmartre italian place): a small quiche and tarte place on rue mouffetard. it was called maison de tarte and you should all go. I told the patron of the resteraunt the same thing that I told the italian resteraunt waiter... that we'd been in paris a while and this was our very favorite place. she told me that they make all the quiches and tartes in the back on their own - as opposed to havign them delivered from a big company or something. she seemed proud of that - and rightfully so. everything we ate there rocked the casbah. (fast forward to the end of this post for a second) tarte is the word for quiche. tarte or tarte au sucre is the word for tarte. nice.
we went to shakespeare & company. an english speaking bookstore across the street from notre dame. it's a great bookstore. I found out that roald dahl, whom I love, wrote adult books. I got kiss kiss at the recommendation of one of the bookstore guys.
I learned that there's a hotel associated wtih the bookstore... that the owner lets artists, students, etc stay there in exchange for working an hour per day and reading one book per day. it's now a goal of mine to work/stay there some day. cassandra has the same goal.
I flirted with a german girl who is working/staying there. I struck out.
whitney and cassandra both had their passports stamped by shakespeare and company at my behest. had I had my passport, I would have done it too. I think we're going back there again and so I'll try to remember to bring my passport.
about a 2 minute walk away, there's a jules verne bookstore. all they sell is books by jules verne. some looked really nice. they were closed.
we saw the jules verne bookstore on our way to al dar. that's a lebonese resteraunt that the kiss kiss recommending guy recommended. that resteraunt was very fancy, but not unreasonably priced. it was yummy, but not our favorite resteraunt in all of paris.
on the way back to the metro, we passed the jules verne store again. the patron was locking up! I talked to him and asked when he's open. he told me that if we come back tomorrow between the hours of 11am and 12:15pm, he'll be closed. but if we knock on the door and he hears us and he sees my pretty hat and whitney and cassandra's pretty hair, he'll let us in. dude. he then asked me if I'm enough for the two pretty girls. I explained that they're enough for each other and I'm alone. he said that's too bad for me and too bad for all men.
then we went to the "gay bi trans" bar. I got a "vin cuit" (maybe vin cuir) when I asked for a specifically french drink. it was kind of winey, kind of vanilla-ey, kind of rummy or something. not bad.
we all got man and woman drink swizzles. they're cute. cassandra got a blue girl. whitney and I both got pink girls and blue boys. I got paris gay bi trans bar condoms. one of them is intended as a gift.
since my dress shopping has been unfruitful (ha!) up until now, I asked a guy behind the bar where I can go to buy a dress that will fit me. he recommended a place in the place republique (kind of a big round intersection with a statue and a park which has been under a 5 minute walk from every place we've stayed).
thursday, june 13
breakfast at the webbar resteraunt.
shopping at the new clothing with a thrift store feel place that the gay bi trans bartender recommended. got stuff.
we finally went to "les trois singes" (the 3 monkies) for shopping. we noticed that store on day 1 we were in paris and have wanted to go there since. it was swell.
went to the centre pompidou for shopping. their gift shop closed after we'd been there for just a couple of minutes after we witnessed the surrealism exhibit. so shop, we did. I got a book and a postcard.
I rode the subway in a big city by myself for the first time. I took the metro one exit from the centre pompidou to the exit by our hotel so I could go to the webbar and write this.
inventory (oh boy)
1 man ray photo book
1 salvador dali postcard
1 bubblewrap hat (yes)
2 hemp hats
1 sheer clubby draggy shirt
did I mention I got another lighter (2 for the whole trip)
1 roald dahl book
lots more gifts
I need to get some more mustard... it's been a while since I bought any
wood - bois
bamboo - not in the dictionary. probably bambu
periscope - not in the dictionary.
earlier - plus tot (adv). plus ancien (adj)
cuba - cuba
cigar - cigare
cigarette - cigarette
size - taille (for clothing). dimensions (for other sizes)
ingredient - ingredient
wind - vent
blow - souffler
candle - bougie
candleholder - bougeoir
measure - mesurer
feel - sentir
smell - sentir (that's why I've been deroute')
fermiture a cle' (french - zipper)
confused - deroute'
quiche - tarte
tarte - tarte or tarte au sucre