WHO AM I? It depends on when you ask me. I can be the french maid, the family nanny, the resident nurse, the interior decorator, the accomplished chef (for some people mac and cheese is an accomplishment), the wannabe writer, the trophy wife, or what ever I need to be. I'm a mom and a wife. That means I'm a little bit of everything. But here with you... I hope I can just be me. How does that sound?
On the grounds of Chenonceau they have beautiful gardens, and wonderful mysteries to discover. This door is one of my favorite finds. It leads to so many questions. Where does it go? Why hasn't it been used for so long that it is covered in vines?
Do you think I would have gotten in trouble if I had moved the vines and burst through the door. Do they have a french mafia that would have taken me out? Do you think the French have a mafia?
I want to here your theory on what is on the other side of the door.
I hate that I haven't been blogging very much recently. But I just can't seem to keep my eyes open long enough during the day. I'm not sure why I'm excessively tired. I'm not doing anything that should make it so. I'm not a coffee drinker, but even if I were I don't think caffeine would be a powerful enough drug to wake me up.
After months of forcing my love of France and Paris in your face, I was able to get even Kristina P. to want to come to France. She said "You know, I have never really had a strong desire to go to France. I would much rather go to Italy, and Greece and the Mediterranean. But you make me want to go!" So you my readers all love France, you are all cozy and dreaming of all the pretty things... but today that may change.
I'm not sure why it happened. I am vaguely aware of how it happened. But I certainly learned a few lessons. Before I went to France, I researched Paris Fashion. I wanted to feel like part of the city, so that meant looking the part. So I spent some time surfing the web and found a Easy Fashion in Paris. A lot of the stuff was off the wall, but I loved the music and I took inspiration from the type of shoes, and coats would look fashionable.
Hubby's uncle did not visit this site, and did not try to dress to fit in. With is cargo pants, ball cap, and camera, he couldn't look any more like a tourist.
It is easy to fall into the flow of visiting Paris. You learn how to stand on the moving metro without falling on your derriere, how not to smile at every person your pass, and to listen to Hubby because he lived in the area for two years and knows much more about the way things go down. It is easy to forget that anything bad can happen to you on your dream vacation.
Hubby and I skipped church to see the Eiffel Tower up close and personal, so maybe that set things off to a bad start. Then we met Aunt and Uncle (who attempted to attend church but failed). We headed over to the Musee D'Orsay, and old train station that now displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914. I saw a lot of beautiful artwork. I also saw things that I hope you never see such as the origin of the world according to the artist Gustave Courbet. (If your curiosity is peaked and you research this I put awarning on it that you may go blind, and it is inappropriate especially when you are ditching church on the sabbath.)
After visiting the Musee D'Orsay, we wanted to head over to Sacre Coeur up on the hill in Montmartre. We went down into the metro station to wait. I see some nice inviting seats that Hubby just passes. I call him back and he looks at me hesitant but then decides to come sit by me. When the next train, pulls up Hubby goes up further to get on the train. Aunt, Uncle, and I just go to the closest door (this was a bad decision.) As we are getting on the train, some rude girls (Hubby calls the gypsies) push their way through our group, bumping hard into Uncle. There is a musician on the train who was collecting money for his entertainment, he looks up at the gypsies and tells them something in French, and they push their way back off the train. Doors shut, and drama starts.
In about 10 seconds, Uncle realizes his wallet is gone (from his front pocket nonetheless). If you have never felt a dread in the pit of your stomach, that makes you want to puke, then you have never been pick pocketed on a metro in Paris. We get off at the next stop in hopes of recovering maybe at least some of the contents of the wallet, hoping they dumped it and took the cash. And Musician guy heads off the train quickly and proves a better magician than a musician because he disappeared. The wallet wasn't found but it wasn't horrible. Other than his license, and recommend, they got about $100 worth of assorted money, and a debit card that was quickly cancelled.
The part that was sad to be is how well orchestrated they had the act. The musician was working with the gypsies, it was obvious because Hubby said he was telling the girls to be fast and get off the train. Hubby thought the girls looked suspicious while we were waiting but never told Uncle, Aunt or I. He should have followed his gut, but it is hard to do when you are on a vacation high.
The lessons I learned were: 1. It is good to blend in as a local when you are trying to not get mugged. Uncle was definitely targeted because he looked very touristy. 2. Ditching church to see the Eiffel Tower does not earn bonus points with God. 3. Even the city you love can break your heart, and make off with your money. 4. Girls are not afraid to reach into a guys front pocket to make off with his money. (side note about Uncle - He was actually be quite diligent about having his hands in his pockets on his wallet so something like this didn't happen. But he reached out as he was getting on the train to pull himself in. It only took a second).
If you care to share, what is something bad that has happened to you that only took a second?
What can you create with less than 10 minutes and little paint? If you are my daughter a large mess. :) This guy can create art and entertainment.
After my long unexpected night tour from the Champs-Élysées to Notre Dame, I rested. But when the morning came I wanted to be out in the city. Without much a plan, Hubby and I decided we would go see Notre Dame in the day light. Not knowing the ways of the metro, or the lay of the city, I relied heavily on Hubby to lead the way. We ride a few stops down the line, and emerge from the underground restrooms metro, into the middle of Paris.
After the night before, I was not in the mood for aimless walking, and I wasn't seeing the towers of Notre Dame. I see little shops and lots of fun things, but Hubby keeps walking not stopping to look, and no hand holding like the other Parisian couples. I was getting irritated. (This happens easily for me.) I ask Hubby where we are going. He mumbles some sort of nonsense. By this time I knew I was destined to walk through all of Paris with never getting a chance to enjoy the things that I wanted to do.
Was it too much to ask to just sit outside a café to watch the city go by me, instead of me going by the whole city?
Hubby then says there is a plaza ahead that normally has all types of performers and we should go see if there is anyone there. That sounds good. My feet were still aching from the night before a rest would be nice. I was actually excited to have a chance to soak it in. We get to the plaza, and the guy above is just there trying to convince people to stop and watch. He had finished one show, and would be starting another one when there was a sufficient crowd to feed his ego. Actually he was quite funny and entertaining, and it was just awesome to actually hear people speaking French. No one really seemed to be gathering, Hubby and I were just at the back of the plaza. So we went and sat in front of his work area. He can and talked thanked us for sitting there and said he needed more people like us.
His told people passing that his show would only take five minutes (of course he is saying this in french I really loved that part). They were heading to the museum. What's at the museum that can't wait five minutes? he asks. He said the museum will be there all day, his show will only take five minutes.
His show actually took about eight minutes, but it was so fun to sit by Hubby and just enjoy Paris. Hubby knew what ego-painter was painting long before most people can guess. He did a good job and we tipped for his spectacular then went on our way.
What I loved most was his confidence, and his willingness to put himself out there. When you are mastering your art, are you so willing to put your work on the line with such confidence? I have been thinking a lot about criticism (Lazy Writer had a post on it just yesterday)
If you have time I uploaded the video of his performance to You Tube and it is being processed (blogger was taking FOREVER trying to upload it.) I have no idea how long that will take but the video is embed below in case it actually gets around to finishing the processing in time to be part of Wednesday French Inspiration. If not this is the link and I will send out a reminder when it up for viewing just in case you want to sit back and pretend you are sitting on the stone plaza ground watching ego-painter.
Also, as a side thought. Do any of my readers (if you are still reading the small print at the bottom, have any questions you want answered about me? Any questions about my writing, my French obsession, my life, or when I'm ever going to continue Dreams of Love?
If you do leave them in the comments and I will get to posting some answers.