Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Observations from le Voyage 8.21

It may say just a little too much about the sad state of American education but I have actually met a person who thought Paris was named for Paris Hilton. It fact it is in all likelihood named for the Gaulic Parisii tribe who inhabited the area when it was conquered by Julius Caesar. Another version has Caesar naming it after the Trojan Prince who fell in love with Helen precipitating the Trojan War. Caesar was fond of thinking he was Paris reincarnated, presumably after too much wine. Than there is Paris' nickname, The City of Lights. This has nothing to do with real lights but to Paris being the main center of learning during the Age of Enlightenment.

One of my favorite times of day is early morning starting just before dawn. It makes no difference if I was up or night or not. It may be the only time of day that I love color, the play between the last ebbs of the night and the first rays of the sunrise making a seamless transition. On the flight over I tried to get some sleep because I had been up all day, driving, and knew once I arrived there would be no sleeping. I did manage to doze off but about four hours into the flight (about 2AM New York time) I opened my eyes to one of the most stunning sunrises I have ever seen, including on Kauai. The same play of light and color I just mentioned with the added effect of being 30,000 feet above the Atlantic. It was gorgeous but I totally should have closed the blind because that was about it for sleeping, time for those free drinks the Air France stewardesses were kind enough to supply.

I'm staying in a small hotel on the Rue Cujas in the Latin Quarter, between the Sorbonne and the the Luxembourg Gardens.  Being used to New York I find it so cute that because the hotel is small they lock the door at night and you have to wait for the concierge to unlock the door, something he than apologizes for twenty times. Two other sweet things about the hotel are that the bed has lots of pillows and the wireless internet surprisingly is fast as hell.

When I got into my room one of the first things I did, after I connected my comp, was turn on the TV because it's just what I always do. Thing is I flew over 3,000 and the first thing I see on said TV was effing Paul Ryan and his mom. I could rationalize seeing Willard here because he hid from the Vietnam War in his family's chateau in France but Petey Ryan? The Repubes' head gym rat? To purge that from my mind I watched the first episode of Weeds in French. I always wanted to watch Weeds and I own the first and second season DVDs but somehow southern California women selling weed in French doesn't cut it. I'm going to have to watch episode one in English as soon as I get back.

And why the hell is it 90° here? I packed leather jackets!

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