04 January 2009

THE PARIS JOURNALS SECOND ENTRY December 19


So this is Paris.
People, and this is not exactly a surprise, speak French, wherever, whenever, however, you go. Always surprises me to hear different languages or accents when I go to a different country, don't know why it should, but there you go.
I like the way the French cross the streets, utterly fearless which is oddly in keeping with the way they drive. Aggressive yet not at all like they’re in a hurry.
Lot of people smoke, which is the one thing I find backward about the place.
All the women seem young and beautiful and without the American pretense of the smart set. It’s like they look good effortlessly and naturally.
We bought sandwiches at some random shop and they were of the Oh-my-God-this-is-the-best-sandwhich-I’ve-ever-eaten variety on a delicious seeded baguette.
The city is beautiful. The architecture striking.
Went for a solo walk in search of Shakespeare and Company bookstore. The google maps directions were a dismal failure so I just wandered around until inevitably I stumbled upon the bookstore anyway.
Then went across the Seine and found the Notre Dame looming above me. Okay this is actually an appropriate use of the word “awesome” because the site fills one with awe. Will enter the ancient cathedral later with the family.
Wondered about some more and came upon the Paris Shoah Holocaust museum. I’ve read a lot about the Holocaust, seen many a film both fictional and documentary, had a graduate class on it and took a three day seminar provided by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
None of this quite prepares one for this kind of exhibit which includes some of the actual yellow stars that Jews were forced to wear and articles of clothing from the concentration camps. This is the type of exhibit everyone should see.
In the evening oldest daughter arrived from Finland (she’s doing her junior year of college there) and we are a family of four again.

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