Second day in Paris
Paris Travel Blog› entry 12 of 13 › view all entries
I can really see myself living here. I am already getting familiar with the metro system (i was still cussing at the metro, and got on the wrong train, but I am beginning to know where to get off and didn't freak out as much when I had to open the train door myself. Seriously, though, who has to open the train doors yourself?). Have had two meals by myself. I am kinda sick of baguettes already.
This morning I was woken up by the Korean girls when they were getting ready for work. Tried to go back to sleep again but not so much a re-sleeper. Went to a bank and was informed that only banks on Champs Elysees exchanged currency. Got off at the Franklin Roosevelt stop because I didn't want to transfer trains. Found a travelex. Not happy with the exchange rate. Tried to navigate to Le Petite Palais. Passed by what I thought was the palais-museum-complex. Saw lots of people lining for something. Decided to line up too. Can't be that bad if everyone wanted to see it, right? Got inside and realized it was an exhibition of Cezanne, Matisse, Degas, Picasso, Man Ray etc. The theme was Gertrude Stein's collection. It was exhilarating. So many paintings I have only read or heard about and I saw them! Too bad I was by myself. I did a few hand-on-my-chest-whisper-gasping gestures. It was truly touching to be in the same room as all these masterpieces. I guess you aren't not supposed to take pictures. I put up my iphone and snapped a picture quickly and I saw this security guard RUNNING AT me. I pretended I was just texting or playing with my phone. OOPS.
Got out of Le Grand Palais. Tried to find another museum to go to but was too sleepy and hungry. Thought some food might help wake me up. Passed by this cafe/brasserie called Le Grand Palais (yea, creative). Looked pretty fancy/pricey. Wandered a little more but found myself in this fancy neighborhood among these fancy apt buildings. Found this small cafe/bar/restaurant thing. Sat down on a one-person table (do people even have those?). Tried to order in French. Realized I really understand much more than I thought, but speak WAYYY worse than I expected I could. Ordered an Italien sandwich baguette. Food was okay. I was surprised it came with free (not really free, but not on the bill kinda free) tap water. Sandwich was nothing to brag about. It did its job. Went back to the main road to Le Palais de la Decouverte. The buliding itself looked pretty cool, but the exhibitions weren't what I was looking for. I think there was a science/DNA exhibition, and the other one was how ancient humans conquered the world (ie hunting, tools). More anthropological in subject. I thought I could have seen those exhibitions in NY or even DC as well. Not worth the visit.
Navigated my way to Le Petit Palais. The building itself was really cool, too. When I first saw the building it did not look petit to me AT ALL. YOU CALL THAT PETIT?! What are you, French? The exhibition and the building itself were cool. The exhibition going on was la Comedie Francaise. Basically the history of French theatre. Heavily featured was Moliere. I was really tired at that point and so I didn't spend much time looking at each painting or what not. Still interesting, though I didn't know if France was necessarily known for their theatre. Hung out at this courtyard-garden. It was also to rest my feet. Wanted to fall asleep by the chairs and tables. Managed to stay awake. Got some lady to help me take a picture. It was also at that moment when I realized my French really isn't that shabby.
Wanted to walk towards La Place de la Concorde. Still not sure if I went there/passed by it because next thing I knew, I crossed a bridge and when someone took a pic of time, he mentioned something about a Sex and the City shot. Was that the Concorde? Kept walking towards this enormous, classical looking building. Turned out to the La Musee de L'Armeee. Wasn't so interested in military history, but again, the building looked cool. Looked very authentic. Not terribly decorated. I supposed tres militaire. Wasn't planning on buying a ticket (why would I spend almost 10 euros on looking at bombs or weapons?) until I saw that Napoleon's tomb was there. Decided to spend 7 euros to look at Napoleon's coffin. All I have to say is, (and I have been planning on and dying to say this. Oh, I'm so witty) big ego, bigger coffin. His tomb and the coffin WERE HUGE! Keep in mind he was a little guy!!! I would still say worth the visit. Napoleon is kinda one of a kind in history, of mankind.
On my way out, tried to locate myself on the map. Couldn't find myself on the map, neither could the museum staff. Was cold and hungry and tired at that point. Went into the next cafe I saw. The owner there was nice. I told him I wanted a hot sandwich and I was cold, he said I should have some hot chocolate and made me a cheese baguetted sandwich. All of the conversation in French aussi! So proud of myself for understanding as much as I did. I was sick of baguette after I finished most of the sandwich. The hot chocolate was HANDS DOWN the BEST hot chocolate I have had in my memory. AHHHH now I'm craving hot chocolat.
Walking towards the metro L'ecole Militaire, passed by this quaint little souvenir (but not tacky!) slash bookstore. Went inside. Looked really cool. Bought a mass-produced but antique-looking map of Paris. It was 5.75 euros. I would say well worth it. J'aime les plans, des toutes les choses.
Got on the metro. Didn't realize one gate only leads to ONE direction. Had to take the train in the wrong direction. Finally got back to the apt. Typed this up a little and was ready to sleep. Her roommate came back, asked her to text HJ to meet somewhere else than originally planned. PASSED OUT. Woke up again to meet up with HJ for a drink nearby.
Went to this local cafe (that serves alcohol!). Had two glasses of wine. Good stuff. Teeth are now stained red. When I was in the bathroom, saw this middle-aged lady vomitted on the stairs. Couldn't quite make it to the bathroom I guess. Told HJ that when I am 50 years old and am about to vomit because of alcohol, smack me or just stop me from drinking, entirely. EWW.
Wanted to go to McDonald's, or should I say, McCafe for some midnight snack. It was closed already. Walked by some teenages and two of them were making out hardcore. Oh those younglings. Came home and now ready for bed.
I guess not so much an eventful day, but still, I'm in Paris! What a day!
Today I was thinking traveling alone is very different for me. I am forced to be an introvert and turn inward to myself. My life in DC has been largely extroverted, with me at times so glad to be at home and get away from everyone and my overly verbal world. I don't think I have been silent/non-talkative for this long in a while, if this sentence makes sense. My current life/lifestyle has required me to be extroverted, at work (with my coworkers, which I adore)(don't give me any crap if you are reading this! Je les adore!!!!), going out (always have to keep talking or be super friendly aka extroverted when meeting new people), or just running errands (like calling the phone or credit company. Just gotta keep talking to be convincing!). For once I was not "required" to talk and simply observe everything around me. It is more so talking to myself and have a conversation with myself. I find myself much calmer and less disoriented, internally/mentally. I suppose I'm not truly an extrovert after all - I get overwhelemd (not necessarily, but I can't think of another word right now) by constant company. Like, I lose focus on whatever I want to focus on.
Drinks with HJ was a good time. We really caught up with each others' lives. When I was telling her all my boy problems, she said I need to grow up. Not in a mean way, I think what she meant was I need to grow to and be mature enough to see the intrinsic value in my romantic counterpart. I guess I am still too young and too superficial. I guess I am. I place too much value on appearance, physical or behavioral.
But seriously, I can see myself living here.