Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Last Day In Paris

Alas, my European vacation is drawing to a close. It might actually have been a little long, but Magda's work schedule kinda made it seem like two vacations in one: the days when Gary was out & about by hisself & the days when the two young(ish) lovers wandered the city trying desperately to find places on confusing street maps.

Seriously, Europeans, a word: The "signs on the sides of buildings" thing is neat & all, but a pole with two signs in a road couldn't cost very much & makes a hell of a lot more sense.

Anyway, the vacation's not quite over - we still have to abscond from Paris & spend a day & night in Cambridge (more fossil hunting - I'll probably just sleep the train ride off) & then it's back to the States. I might have more to say in the future, but here are some random thoughts:

- Austin needs a bakery on nearly every corner. Seriously, it improves the mind & the spirit. The aroma it imparts to the neighborhood alone is worth it.

- Paris (like Basel) is a smokers' town. DO NOT COME HERE if you've quit smoking in, oh, the last few months. God damn it. Not that I smoked - truly, I'm done with that habit - but DAMN when you see the cafes full of smokers you long for that deadly, delicious cancer stick. Which begs the question: don't they get the same medical information as we do? Are they just being contrary? Ah, the French.

- Paris is also a tremendously diverse place, more than I at least thought. Not everyone is beautiful, although the chicks in the Latin Quarter truly are, but the inhabitants look like they come from all over. I have been a little flattered when, walking alone, someone spoke French to me. I had to say "Je ne parle pas francais," but it felt sweet to be mistaken for a Parisian.

- We got extremely lucky - it was never stupefyingly cold while we were here. It was even sunny on Sunday, when we visited Pere Lachaise & I got to make out with Oscar Wilde's grave. But I really want to come back here when it's a springish time. Although the lines will probably be longer then.

- It's probably no surprise (& really no secret) that I don't sleep well, but most certainly a sleeping plan to follow for the future is EXHAUSTION. When you spend an entire day wandering around, waiting in lines, transferring from different Metro stops, & limping home, a little dehydrated & utterly worn out, it's very easy to get horizontal & fall into a completely rejuvenating & dreamless sleep.

- Travelling a lot on trains is fertile ground for those who wish to become Sudoko masters. Or even those who don't, as I found out.

This Friday I will hopefully be back in Austin in time to resume the ridiculousness of Self Help Radio & I once again thank Lisa & Jay for keeping the show warm while I was away. This week I will be playing songs with the phrase "brand new" somewhere within, attempting to start Self Help Radio off in a "brand new year." You may certainly send requests & ideas to me.

A bientot!