Musée de Running Around

Sheila and I ended up having our breakfast and watching Grey’s Anatomy at 11 this morning. My alarm went off at 10:30 in the wrong part of REM cycle again, I’m really all out of whack this week. I reset it and went back to bed to try to get up on my own accord at a better point in that rhythym, and I did… two minutes before it was set to go off again. We’d decided to go to the Musée d’Orsay today, so we got dressed and headed out. We took the metro as opposed to the RER, so we got off near le Jardin de Tuileries and opted to walk through it to get to the museum. We noticed a giant Ferris Wheel on one side of the garden, so we figured we’d go check it out. At Place de Concorde during this time of year (evidently), there’s a little street bazar going on. There were a couple Christmas-y souvenir stands (including French Santa hats), a choose-your-own and pay-by-weight candy shop, a couple crêpe and/or waffle stands, and even a vin chaud (hot/mulled wine) stand! That stand offered both red and white wine, but I can’t imagine how hot white wine could be good, considering it’s supposed to be served cold (as opposed to red being served at room temperature). Le Roue de Paris (the giant Ferris Wheel) cost 10 euro to ride, so Sheila and I passed and went on our way to the museum. We used a bridge to cross the Seine, and it happened to be covered in “locks of love.” The idea is that you and your lover could buy a lock from the men on the bridge, or you could bring one with you, you put your names on it, then your put the lock on the bridge and toss the key into the river. I definitely want to do this if I have my honeymoon in Paris…

We were half frozen by the time we got to Musée d’Orsay, despite our many layers… Once we got inside (for free, thanks to our Sweet Briar student IDs that said both of us were Art History majors), we realized that we could stand to have a little snack, so we headed up to the 5th floor to Café Campana

Everything in the entire museum is crazily overpriced (a salad Niçoise was 16 euro) since they’ve got a captive audience, so we opted to split a cheese plate for 15 euro, I ordered lait chaud aromatisé avec sirop noisette (the Starbucks equivalent would be a hazelnut steamer, it’s literally hot milk with hazelnut syrup), and Sheila ordered a glass of Merlot. When the waiter came to take our order, he asked if we wanted to do it in French or English. “En français, s’il vous plaît.” He made a bit of a face like “alright, this is going to be interesting” but we placed our orders, and I even asked for clarification if my drink was supposed to come hot or cold because the menu didn’t specify. When Sheila ordered her Merlot, he tried to convince her to order a different red wine since the Merlot is strong, and most women don’t like it. She convinced him that she liked Merlot, that’s why she was ordering it. He left the table and said “vous parlez bien français!” (You speak French really well!) When he came back with our drinks and our napkins and such, he talked to us a bit more, asking where we were from (“États-Unis.” “Ou dans les États-Unis?” “Californie.”) and he said he’d actually been there before, then he asked how we were coping with the weather since it’s much colder here than it is there… he asked us what we were studying, and when he found out that Sheila was studying Psychology (we shorten it to “psych,” it’s “psycho” in French), his response was “so are there a lot of ‘psychos’ in Paris?” and Sheila joked with him that there were plenty. That little conversation really made my day. That waiter started out assuming we were about to butcher his language, then he found out that not only were we remotely capable of speaking it, but he was able to carry a little bit of a conversation with us, even to the point of cracking jokes.

There were signs everywhere that said you really weren’t supposed to take any pictures at all anywhere in the museum (not just without flash), so I snapped a couple quick ones on the rez-de-chaussée and put my camera away.

I found it kind of nice to have my camera in my bag (as opposed to around my neck) as I walked through the museum. All you could do was appreciate the work inside and not worry about taking pictures at all. I think I like this museum better than the Louvre… We even got a chance to check out the special exhibit before we left, it was all about style during the Impressionist movement. There were both paintings of men and women all dressed up, and the dresses and costumes (men’s suits) in cases, so that was really neat to look at. Sheila and I headed home around five. We meandered through the boutiques at Palais de Congres on our way home since we used Porte Maillot to get home. I took a few more fashion-related pictures for my project.
Madame got home about 20 minutes after we did, and changed our bed sheets. She said she was planning on getting up (and leaving the house) pretty early tomorrow, so there wouldn’t be time to do it then. She had picked up my medications for me, so I paid her back for them. She made a comment about how dirty my desk was (the word she uses to describe it is usually bizarre), so I cleaned it while she was working on the bed linens and running the vacuum. I’ve managed to figure out that living in a slightly-disorganized mess doesn’t necessarily bother me, but I definitely feel better when things are cleaned up and tidied. I’m also never going to tell myself to clean something, someone else has to do it. Sheila and I had this conversation earlier today while we were walking to Porte Maillot to go to Musée d’Orsay, she keeps all of her things neat and tidy (and disinfected), and I need her to walk into my bedroom when we get our house together back in California and flat out tell me I need to clean it, or I’ll never do it. Needless to say, the common areas of our house should be spotless. We had chicken, pasta, a salad, and cheese for dinner. We ended up having a big conversation about how some of the girls in our program have really bizarre eating habits. Some won’t eat seafood, some will only eat chicken, some won’t eat vegetables, things like that. I made the comment that those things sound a bit more ridiculous than what I have to do. “Je suis d’accord avec toi!” (I agree with you!) Madame piped up as she wiped down the counter. She continued to say that I’m actually easy to cook for since I like everything, and the no gluten thing is the only problem I have, and it’s not my choice. She doesn’t understand how Americans (especially) do this “I don’t eat _____” thing just because they don’t like something. She’s forgiving when it’s because of a medical condition like what I have, but not when it’s a matter of sheer pickiness. Joan was a vegan/vegetarian before she came to France, and because she understood how the French viewed eating habits like that, she stopped that diet and worked meat back into her diet. She was absolutely sick for a couple months, but now she’s fine, and she’s not going back. I told you… French people don’t take too well to picky eaters…

I got a chance to Skype my boyfriend for a few minutes after dinner. I’m in a bit of a creative mood, so I might do a little bit of a writing if I can find some inspiration somewhere. We’re probably due for another Top Ten soon… that might be an idea… Sheila and I will probably do some more exploring tomorrow, I think Centre Pompidou was in the works, if not, we’ll go to Père Lachaise and I’ll try not to lose my Navigo this time…

Faites que l’on vous craigne, et je ne craindrai rien. Corneille: Nicomède

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