That said, on our last day in Paris, we donated the afternoon to the pursuit of the lovey dovey stuff.
First we had to attend to housekeeping, so we picked up Sue's suitcase, which had to be hand stitched to repair the blow out caused by too much being expected of it. By the time we reached Paris, it looked as if it was four months pregnant. The 5kg baby was delivered to the local post office to be dispatched back to Australia. Wasn't that an experience! We were given nothing except two forms to fill in, all in French and sent to one side of the post office whilst other customers were served. When we had just about conquered the forms, another lady came along, admitted she spoke English and gave us a duplicate set of forms in English! I gave up after sending the parcel and fear Sue's suitcase may never see its baby again.
We had postcards in our hands but they'll have to wait until England.
Blah, blah, blah.
|Locked together until the key is found|
|On the Pont d'Arts|
Original ... what else would you expect?
We laughed about it all afternoon. Met a nice Aussie couple on the bridge. He opened the conversation with "G'day mate. What's the bloody story with all the padlocks?" We love it here but gee it was nice to hear the Aussie accent again.
Stopped for a nice romantic cafe in a place beside the Louvre and overlooking the Seine. Drank whilst watching four lanes of manic traffic instead, bumper to bumper, all on horns. This was our next to last look at the centre of Paris.
Up at the Basilique, the view is sensational but again, as only the French could do, missing from the view behind trees is the Eiffel Tower. People are everywhere, crawling like minga over dead flesh. It was wall to wall humanity to get into the church so we didn't bother. Its an amazing building but again, like Gustav's tower, it has been the source of controversy, built politically to commemorate a disastrously lost war and religiously to place a church presence in a communist community.
Too many people for us, all jostling for the sunset position. Taking advantage of the empty restaurants below, we dined on a three course meal which included a wonderfully rich beef bourgenoun.
We have developed the habit, when we say something in English, of saying it again in French. Sue hit her hand hard n the table during dinner and utter the word "shit" loud enough for the waiter to turn his head, attentively. On automatic, she followed it with "merde" before realising it might have been better to have left it at English.
We were home on the Metro, ignoring the strangers like the best of Parisians. Its worth it. On Fridays, the musicians come out and we watched a seven or eight voice all male Russian group and then two girls who sang pleasantly to guitar and keyboard ... just perched in the passenger tunnels as one walks to and from a train.
There are so many things which conflict about this place. The food is cheap but beggars are easy to find. There are police everywhere but the gypsies still ply their trickery with annoying ease. Everyone is perfectly groomed, yet men pee in the street and Metro tunnels whilst Parisians walk by. You can smell urine in the passenger tunnels of the less active stations. 27 million people must bring billions of dollars to Paris, yet wages are so poor that teachers, among the better paid of the white collar workers, earn only $2000AUD a month.
Last day based in Paris tomorrow. Antone sick of it yet?