torsdag, oktober 20, 2005

Weekend in Europe, Part 1: Paris

A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend's father celebrated his 60th birthday by taking a few family members and their partners, including me, on a 5-day trip to Paris. Ah, Par-EE, eet is so romantic, non? Mais, oui! As you might imagine, I walked a lot, saw some sights, and above all, spoke lots and lots of Danish - you didn't think I would actually try to speak French, did you?

I had been to Paris twice before. The first time was in college, where I spent 6 weeks purportedly studying French. In reality, I wandered aimlessly about the city, listened to music (The Smiths and Indochine, one casette tape of each, pretty much continuously), and talked to no one (well, to no one French at least). Then I was there for a few days with my brother and Dad, about a year after I had moved to Europe. We survived four or five days of maximum tourism. But that was 9 years ago. I remember a certain fondness for the city, but couldn't remember anything specific. So, forthwith, my answers to the unasked question, 'What is Paris'?

1) Paris is museums and street art. The museum is of course the Louvre. The particular street art is right next to the Pompidou Center, another museum/art center, which I think is one of the ugliest buildings ever built. There are some who disagree with me on that, I can't imagine why.

2) Paris is cafés and street food. In particular the street food. I could (and during my times in Paris have) lived on crêpes, avec fromage, jambon, et oeuf.

3) Paris is monuments and cathedrals. Ah, aren't they purty?

4) Paris is small details. All over the place.

5) And above all, Paris is frogs. Yes, frogs. One of the two big blow-out dinners (the other was a cabaret) was at Roger la Grenouille. In the Latin quarter and specializing in, you guessed it, frog's legs. You get to wear an assortment of silly hats during the meal, which meant that all 6 of us spent the whole time taking pictures of each other. The decor is sort of upscale chaos, with lots of memorabilia scattered about. I found this frog sitting next to me. It was only after my meal that I realized where those frog's legs had come from! However, he had no hard feelings, and joined right in the festivities with the rest of us.

9 kommentarer:

Leslie sagde ...

Oh Kimananda, I'm so jealous! I've never been to Europe. Lately all my friends have been going abroad. Even my sister studied in Dublin. I was going to go to Australia but couldn't because of my back problems. However, I really do want to make it out there. I don't care where. Maybe I can go to Denmark? I do so love learning new languages. The last one I tried to learn was Russian. Is Danish hard?

P.S. AH the frogs! Send me one!

Rich Dunbeck sagde ...

Lucky you!

I agree, the Centre Pompidou is butt-ugly. I've seen pictures of it and they were enough to convince me to stay away if I ever do visit Paris.

I would love to visit the Louvre, however.

Frog legs, surprisingly, are not all that bad. Then again, when I had them they were battered and fried like chicken. I may have missed the more subtle aspects of the flavor.

Chibithulhu sagde ...

Tsathoggua! known to the Old Man of Providence as St. Toad, as in "Beware the bells of St. Toad's," from hi9s famous epic poem The Fungi From Yuggoth. Tsathoggua is my brother, the jokester of the family. He was exiled from the endless nighted gulfs for inventing toes and then, shortly after, inventing sturdy furniture for toes to be stubbed on. While the rest of the Old Ones focus on cosmos-spanning entropy and despair, only Tsathoggua, whom you hold in those photos, could appreciate the smaller details like stubbed toes.

kimananda sagde ...

Leslie - come to Europe, it's cool! Denmark is a good place to live, but Danish is not an easy language, or at least it hasn't been for me.

Rich - Interestingly, the frog's legs I had didn't have much of a taste of anything. They were not bad, they were very tender...but quite bland. And you might want to re-think the Pompidou...the building is ugly, but it is the place for modern art, and has a cinema as well, which seems to have artsy and documentary films.

Chibithulhu - I though I recognized that frog!

Daphnewood sagde ...

I like frog legs to eat. Kind of dry if you don't cook them right. Your hat was divine dahling! Although I find it weird that a restaurant would have so many frog items about when you are about to eat them. Every restaurant that does that just boggles my mind. Even the chain Red Lobster. Why hang so many fish trophies? Maybe it is just me. There is this fast food chain called Chick-Fil-A that sells nothing but chicken. Their mascot is a cow. Now that makes sense to me. I am really showing my oddity aren't I? okay well you have a great weekend Kimananda *hugs*

portuguesa nova sagde ...

What a gift. Fabulous

kimananda sagde ...

Daphnewood - I share your oddity, and think the cow mascot for the chicken restaurant is great. Perhaps the restaurant was going for a 'total frog' experience. And based on your comment about frog being dry if you don't cook it right, I think we got expertly cooked frog. Those little legs were very tender. And a good weekend and a hug (and accompanying Portuguese style beijinhos) to you too!

Portuguesa Nova - Yeah, wasn't it just though? I'm already looking forward to wherever we'll be going when Thor's dad turns 70 - or maybe it will be up to me and Thor's brother next, as we'll both be 40 in not too long.

Sangroncito sagde ...

I LOVE PARIS!!!! My dream is to buy an apartment in Paris.

kimananda sagde ...

Yep, Sangroncito, me too, me too...actually, Thor and I have on several occasions had 'the real estate conversation' where you make a list of all the places you'd like to have a little pied a terre. Paris is one of the few 'must' places on that list for me other than the places I've lived before.