Sunday, January 13, 2008

Oui Oui, Paris

Well grandma, we ain't in Munich anymore.

Now I'll be the first one to admit that until the day I die, I will always have a soft spot for Munich, Germans, and Beer (that's right: "Beer" deserves a capital letter. I'll write a memo to Noah Webster). But I have to be honest and say that Paris is just mind blowing. I think I wrote about how I had been here for three days once before and absolutely hated it. Yeah, that's because I was cranky from a long plane ride. I love this place!

After an agonizing nine hour train ride (complete with the manicuring woman, the friendly Mr. Rogersesque conductor, and the later entry of two Mexican guys who were nice enough, but I really would have loved to have had the compartment to myself. When I wrote that post about Hall and Oates I was literally singing out loud with my headphones on and bobbing my head side-to-side a la Stevie Wonder. I even took a nice little nap, sprawled out across the bench... until the dudes walked in {for those of you who are not "in the know" about my sleeping habits: I swear I was in Vietnam in a past life because the slightest atmospheric disturbance sends me leaping out of bed with a [David?] Bowie knife in my kung-fu grip, panting with bloodshot eyes looking for the next Colonel Kurtz. Well, perhaps not that dramatic, but I am very sensitive to disturbaces}), I arrived in Gare de l'Est. Two hours of sleep behind me, I set off for adventure.

I met my liason in Montmatre and he escorted me to the safehouse. After a series of keypad entries, deadbolts, and crowds of school children, we arrived at our destination. A small ivy-covered bungalow with a rusting iron gate, located right next to a school on the Rue Lepic. The first thing that struck me upon entering the apartment was the smell: like banana, peanuts, and a healthy dose of ass.

Oh wait. That's me.

And I have to meet Fernanda in two hours (remember her? The Brazilian chick I met in Munich on my concentration camp tour (where I obviously pick up all the ladies)? Yeah, she comes into the story later. Note: I have to remove the link to this blog off of my Facebook page because people I write about can find that link. Not that anything I write here is untrue, it's just that my thoughts are not meant to be shared with everybody! This is for my friends, family, and the occassional random person who stumbles upon it {which is such an odd but enjoyable feeling}. So, Fernanda, if you are reading this... don't hate me, because I fancied you. When I write "hot Brazilian chick" what I really mean is intelligent, beautiful, and insightful girl from Brazil. You rock.) Dammit. Change shirt, lose a layer (it's rather mild here), more deodorant, splash the face... ready to roll.

I head for my next rendezvous: Notre Dame at 9:30. I'm there at 9:27. Brush your shoulders off kid. You're good. 9:45. She's still not here. Not to worry! You're gangsta. Keep it cool. 10:15. I need a vacation. 10:30. I walk towards St. Michel fountain with my head hanging low. Give me a yellow shirt and shave my head and people would think I was Charlie Brown. Good grief.

But at 10:45 I get a call. Eureka! It's her. "The Hills are alive with the Sound of Music!!" Take off that yellow shirt and trade in that frown for a milk maid's dress, Matt! You're the king of the world!

To make a very long story short: We spend the day together exploring the Latin Quarter. It was fantastic. The next day we spend five hours in the Louvre. Breathtaking. My thoughts, in rapid succession: The Mona Lisa is overrated, the Flemish and Dutch Renaissance painters love their portraits of old white men... and the art was wonderful! So many glorius paintings that I don't remember the name of! In all seriousness, it was great. I loved it. I also loved the experience of just plain being there. The creaking wooden floors, the smells, the sophisticated silence, except when I had to necessarily break out into song and dance: a common occurance. Actually, being in the museum made me think of John Cage, of all people. I remember Pity telling me about that famous performance 4'33", where Cage played nothing so that people had to listen to what was happening around them; they had to appreciate the atmosphere of concerts: coughing, shuffling, ear-ringing, etc. That's what I liked the most about the Louvre.
We met up later that night (after I visited Houli in his church tower. Literally, this mo-fo lives on top of Paris. But if anybody deserves it... M. Houlihan does), had some drinks which I could not afford (I am broke right now, but that's another story), chatted, and had a great time. I won't go into details, but just know that I walked her to her door and we said our goodbyes as she had a plane to catch in a few hours. In the end, it was wonderful to explore Paris for two days with such nice company.

But now it's down to business. I have to start writing a script for a new tour I am designing. I'll keep you posted (that could be perceived as a bad "blog joke", but I didn't mean it that way. Sorry)


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