we woke up and went to another local cafe to get breakfast. there are millions of these small cafes on every street in paris, and they are all fairly similar: a few tables serving the ususal cafe fare and a bar. one of the standard cafe entrees here is the croque monsieur, a grilled ham and cheese sandwhich… actually, i wasn’t aware that it had ham in it till i ordered it… good thing i’m eating meat again!! people here just spend days hanging out in these cafes, having coffee, smoking, and chatting. it’s really nice!! the pace of life here is just so much slower and more relaxed, and i’m really psyched to be adjusting to it. caryn and i have decided to not try to pack in too many sights per day and to just spend time lounging, strolling, hitting cafes, and just enjoying the city.
we took the metro to our first sight of the day, Notre Dame. the metro here is really nice, probably even nicer than the metro in london. there seems to be more stops here, pretty much any spot in the city is withing 2 or 3 blocks from the metro. also, the metro here isn’t as deep underground, so we dont have to spend forever on escalators as we did in london. i was thinking today about how the metro must be really nice for old people. back in san jo, if you’re old and no longer have a license, how do you get around if you dont have someone to drive you?? the bus system sucks, and probably you end up just stranded at home. here, no matter what age you are, you can zip around the city… it’s probably really nice for people too young to drive too.
anyways, back to notre dame. checking out notre dame was pretty cool (even though i’ve seen it the last 3 times i’ve been to paris). one thing that really frustrates me is not being able to take photos in the churches. obviously, i understand why it’s not allowed, and i would never break that rule, but there’s so much cool stuff inside that i always want photos of!!
after checking out the church, we got a crepe (yummmmmm) and hung out in the park behind the church. there was part of me that for a second wondered if we should rush on to the next tourist attraction, but i was able to banish that thought. instead we just kicked it in the park. dude, the pigeons here are *huge*, much huger than the sad scrawny pigeons in london… i guess people here are nice enough to feed them.
aftre notre dame we went to go check out another church, saint-chappelle. the church looked kinda cool from the outside, but from the inside, it was just incredible. i’ve come to realize that i’m really into stained glass windows, and this place had some of the most amazing windows i’ve ever seen. this is my 4th time in paris now (or is it my 5th?) and i honestly think that the inside of this church is probably the coolest sight i’ve seen here. i can’t believe i’ve never gone inside there before!!
we kept walking after saint-chappelle, and went to the center pompidou. well, actually we weren’t planning on going to any museums today, but we ended up right in front of it, so we just went on in. yet another really cool modern art museum. sheez, the more modern art museums i see, the more i realize just how unimpressed i was by the tate museum in london. oh, one other thing i’m not really impressed with is video art. sure, i admit that it’s possible for video art to be profound and interesting, but 95% of the stuff i see in museums is utterly boring and, in my eyes, pointless.
after dinner (indian food, yummmm), caryn and and i got a dessert crepe and went back to the apt. i didn’t mention in my last post that nowadays the eiffel tower does this really cool thing where every hour all of a sudden the whole thing gets all sparkly and crazy for about 10 minutes!
oh one other thing i forgot to mention: we have no hot water. none. yesterday we tried to turn the shower on, but couldnt get the water to be warm. huh? after messing w/ it for a bit, we decided to call my aunt for help. now, the problem w/ that, is that before we left, my younger couisin spent like half an hour going off about how the shower is *so* easy to use, and only a real idiot wouldn’t be able to figure it out. now we had to call and let everyone know that we were idiots. *sigh*. luckily, in the end, we didnt have to call. we noticed a note in the elevator, and with my crappy french i was able to decipher that the hot water was off in the building for *3* days! so i had to take the coldest shower ever. take your breath away cold!!