Caprice de Dieux

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I went to Paris for three days, and when I returned, I never bothered to blog about it. I was too busy flipping all my photos. All 427 of them. This is a long blog. Make yourself a coffee and come back.

Paris. Is. Beautiful. It’s a condensed version of all of the European class you can’t find in North America. Exactly the reason why SO many people go there. If you haven’t seen any of Europe and you only see Paris, you will be enchanted. I love Paris because it holds what I love about Europe. Class. Paris has it all close together. The churches, the streets, the buildings, the confisseries, everything.
Paris is beautiful, albeit, defiled by many many tourists. I grew to loathe the sound of American English. Especially when they stand in line for restaurants talking about cannibalism, eyebrows, birth defects, and the superb law degree system in the United States.

I went to Versailles! It was incredible! It was so ornate, and there was SO much gold! So much detail! It was really amazing. I got a photo of me and my siblings and my Papa in the hall of mirrors. The hall of mirrors is really quite astonishing. There’s so much light, because one side has mirrors instead of walls, and the other side has windows. It was really neat to make the connection from the documentary-that-made-me-really-want-to-see-this-incredible-piece-of-art-that-took-way-too-much-absolutism-to-build-that-it’s-unlikely-we’ll-ever-see-something-like-it-built-again-in-the-future  to the wow-I’m-standing-where-all-the-important-people-in-French-politics-had-stood.  At this point, my eloquent language and well formed sentences have packed their bags and left with Valerie Pringle in promises of her superior travel journaling, but will hopefully return in a few months. I’m not doing justice to such an incredible piece(s) of architecture and work. It was just incredible. It’s hard for me to find the way to give you all enough reference points to understand just how immense and breathtaking Versailles is. #woefulpoeticexistence.

Paris has the freshest fish in all of France. They have a centralized system of distribution. All the fish swims to Paris, then it swims to the other parts of France. Because I had confidence in the freshness of the food and also the quality (kept high by competition -every street is lined with cute little restaurants) I decided to try escargot.
SUCCESS. It was fantastic! I loved it! I saw my six escargots arrive and I said to myself, “Imma finish all 6 of those”. Courage begins in the mind, travels down the esophagus and continues in the stomach. After I had swallowed my first one, my fears were expelled. The texture is the only iffy part. There’s nothing to lichen them to, and one must accept that fact.
When I search for comparisons, I come up with silly putty, rubber bands, Neverhood onion tree fruits, savage mushrooms, or primordial chewing gum. I had finished 3 of 6. I was pacing myself, and using my iron concentration to keep from thinking of the texture.
Then.
I made a grave mistake.
I looked at my fork.
It shook when I looked at it. In retrospect it was my hand that shook. not the snail. I keep telling myself that. #almostpersuaded. ughhh
And then I remembered my childhood. Finding those buggers on the driveway after the rain and flipping them over to see their translucent underbellies. I remember peeling them off the compost bucket. I’m sitting in a Parisian restaurant, keeping composure. My visage isn’t at all soured. I just set my fork down on my plate and regain courage.

After that my family and I went to the Eiffel Tower. At night, she was exceptionally pretty. Golden.
Then! There were lights that went on and sparkled! It was intense! We went up to the top, my family and me. I can’t remember how many elevators we took but there were numerous levels. Being me, I situated myself right by the window, and watched the ground getting pressed down like the grounds at the bottom of a French press coffee machine. I figured, hey, if I’m going to revisit those snails again, at least they’ll crawl slowly up my esophagus. It was gorgeous up at the top. The Seine is especially pretty to see at night with the reflection of the lampposts and boats. I think being in the Eiffel tower was one of the best things I’ve ever done at midnight. There’s very few good reasons to stay up past midnight. I found one.

In the Parisian hotel room, I open my soul and express it’s deepest woes:
“THERE’S NO FLAGS ON MY BED?”
dutiful exchange partner: “…well… maybe you could do a night or two without?”
“… you don’t understand …

… oh I meant to say sheets!”

Day #2 in Paris I went to see the Notre Dame du Paris. It was absolutely stunning. I LOVED the giant purple windows. There’s nothing like it. Well, truth is, there’s a lot like it in Europe, but Notre Dame brings it all together. It’s massive. It’s beautiful.

The same day, I also went to see the Louvre Museum. I saw the Mona Lisa. The real thing. Miss Joconde herself. I probably saw one third of the museum. It was massive. Just incredible. It’s so intense! I am running out of adverbs. Please comment with donations! Foreign tender welcomed. And don’t tell me to visit thesaurus.com. I’ve already stormed that Bastille.

I’m going to say this again for good measure. I am SO glad I took European history last semester. I was in Versailles and the Papa was explaining to the kids about Jean Colbert, and Cardinal Richelieu, and I knew my stuff. W00T. The Papa was able to settle a dispute between me and the brother about whether or not there ever was a Louis the thirteenth. There are things which I know, and I have my doubts about the accuracy thereof, but I don’t doubt for a second that there was a Louis the thirteenth. If there was a Louis quatorze, then Louis 13 would be some grandpa/father/uncle/somethingelse.

After that we went shopping in the Lafayette Galleries. The stained glass dome of that shopping centre is so pretty! I’m in love with buildings, not shopping so much.

 Day #3 I went to the northern part of Paris to see Sacre Coeur. It was absolutely amazing! I wasn’t allowed to take pictures. So I complied. But it was by far my favorite part of Paris. It was amazing. I think it’s a close tie between Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame to be my favorite FAVORITE thing I saw.

A little further we saw an exposition of Salvador Dali. I wanted to go, Pops wanted to go, but the kids were kinda like “more art you’ve gotta be kidding me.” So. We left them outside and went in. It was SO COOL! I love the mind of Salvador Dali. He was really really weird. I relate more to his art than the whole periods of Romanticism and Classicism, Rococo and the likes. Although Mannerism hold appeal to the quiet thinking side of me who doesn’t want to comply to a direct explanation for life, I would still say that surrealism is certainly the ticket for me.

At lunch, I ordered escargot again. I really enjoyed it.
You need a good surge of courage initially, but when you get used to the fact that you’re ingesting slugs, it’s awesome.
This time they came in their shells. We had a springloaded utensil for holding the shells and a little fork to pull the little creatures out with. I hadn’t loaded it quite right, and that little guy went flying (I think it was his life-long-dream which could only be realised once he had attained immortality). He hit me in the face. There was green sauce on my white pants, not to mention on my eternally gracious exchange partner too. :$ Thank God for Swiss Moms who could clean the entire world if they needed to. Stains see Swiss Moms coming and they say their prayers and depart for purgatory before exiting that state of grace by violent self-defense.

Then yesterday, I was going through my day, retelling it to my exchange partner, and explaining: and so I says to her,
“I talked to your best guyfriend today and I told him I needed a hug. He lifted up, smiled, and hugged me. No wait, he woke up, smiled and hugged me. No, hang on, he flew up. sprang up? what’s the word for sprangup? [is that like a hangup? NO]. He got up, smiled and hugged me.” [I really love him. He’s kind. Always.]

I’ve gotta say, having my dad spill his beer on me was the most priceless part of my day. he knocked his full glass over. When I say over, I mean up and over. I got inundated. I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.
He wasn’t laughing. He felt bad. I gave him a big hug afterwards. “C’est pas grave Papa..” I stank like good old Valaisan beer.
All I could say was, Friday the 13th arrived a little late.

The best moment of my (yester)day was certainly being downstairs in my room, but hearing my dad’s voice talking to my mom:
“I’m so sorry. Honestly, what I said was rude. Disgusting. It wasn’t your fault. You were right. I excuse myself. I’m sorry”
DANG MY PARENTS ARE SoOoOo CUTE!

Swiss Mousie updated her status:
…is trying to remember the last time I heard an apology from one parent to another.

4 hours later. Swiss Mousie updated her status:
…is going back more than 5 years in time.

then of course, a few hours later, I goes upstairs and says to my parents
“I am so happy to have two parents in the same house. It’s like I’ve always wanted. I think it’s my favorite part of my life here.”
#charmingchild

Bloopers:

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3 responses »

  1. The closest I’ve been to Europe is Quebec City (one of my favourite places on this Earth), but if I am never able to make it to Paris in my lifetime it will be one of my biggest disappointments. Just hearing other people, like you, talk about Versailles, the Louvre and Sacre Coeur makes me want to drive to Pearson Airport this instant. Of course I just look at the balance in my bank account, cry, and move that dream a little bit down the road. Especially with my love of history and art, Europe is seriously where I belong. Versailles is at the top of my “To visit before I die” list, if any building could talk, I would love to hear what Versailles would have to say. As much as I love the detailed Romanticism paintings, i totally agree that Salvador Dali is much more interesting. You could stare at one of his paintings for hours and just keep noticing new things about them.
    My mother is French, and instead of sharing the language with me growing up, I have instead suffered through too many high school French classes. Going on an exchange of course would have helped these problems, but my anxious and timid nature has stopped me, although I’m sure I would have loved it. Reading about your experiences makes me regret even further that I never had the courage.
    (Also it is quite obvious that you are very courageous because you actually tried escargot).

    • If you love history, and you love art, you will LOVE Europe!
      I’m sorry to hear about the detriment that our school system has caused in putting you through French classes… -_- But don’t worry – there’s a lot of great languages spoken all through Europe which you might enjoy picking up. Personally, I’m going to be learning German in the fall. It’s such a stately sounding language and a few sentences in German substitute profanity perfectly according to my experiences!
      And as for courage – it’s like a muscle you build through doing things you think you don’t have the courage for! When I first had frog legs, my host family’s dad told me they’d still be jumping when the came on the plate… Bon courage mon ami!

  2. Best post ever! Splendid! Makes me want to buy a ticket this minute and go to experience Paris…one place that was never on my radar before..thanks for putting it there. You of all people don’t need a thesaurus:>

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