07/06/01: Last night we realized that we had a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower from our room! That is, it is lovely if one stands on a chair and looks over a big tree. But we can see enough to see the lights and the fun sparkly light show at nighttime. So pretty.
Mom arrived safely this morning. We are all going to go shopping and perhaps to a cemetary or two. The weather here has been questionable, lots of thunder and lightning, and rain.
Tomorrow is Saturday and will be our last full day here in Paris. Sunday morning we leave for Scotland. If we can get our Chunnel tickets, of course. They are in Paris somewhere, we just have to find them, in a matter of speaking. Not like a big game of Scavenger Hunt or something. That would be great fun, though. I should enjoy that. Our time in Paris has gone by surprisingly quickly, considering we haven't done anything of great consequence. But that just makes me all the more determined to return here and stay for as long as I can. Someday. Hopefully sooner rather than later, I'm impatient! Oh. My. God. The men. Italian men have a horrible reputation, so I thought things would be pretty bad there, worse than Paris last year. However, there really wasn't too many problems. Some random icky people saying ciao at you, but hey it could be worse, I hear in the South of Italy they'll grab you. Anyway, so yesterday afternoon I took myself to the Luxembourg Garden, to sit and write postcards and such, because it's quiet and very pretty. So I sat on a chair and began writing. I was there perhaps half an hour, maybe less. And in that time, no less than THREE gross men significantly older than me sat in the chair nearest me and began talking at me out of nowhere. There I sat, alone yes, but clearly occupied, not looking up or around and merely minding MY OWN FREAKIN BUSINESS, and these men took it upon themselves to strike up conversation out of thin air. Not much of a conversation, mind you, all three asked me the same questions. Where are you from? Why are you in Paris? How long have you been here? Do you like it? One asked my name, and I said, huh, no. Then he got a little testy, but hell what do I care. The first two left of their own accord, because yes I answered the questions they all asked but then promptly returned to the postcards, trying to show that I was not interested in talking and that I was otherwise employed. But they pressed on with the stupid questions! I chatted a little better with the third man, who was the oldest, but also the most polite and unrude. However, it had begun to rain so I got up to leave. The man, who I would guess was around sixty or so, asked what I was going to do, if I wanted to get something to drink. Oh, and all of these conversations took place in French, except for some of the middle guy because he was straight harrassing me. And this was creepy, some buddy of his was pacing around behind him as he shot stupid questions at me. Ew! What is up with these people? The interesting thing is that I believe all or most of these men were not actually French. Nor was the Rome guy Italian. All of these men were Arab and/or North African (ie, Caucasian). Last year the men that gave me trouble were all French-speaking African men. Apparently I have stages in which I attract clearly unwanted attention from different sorts of men. EW! Do I look that stupid, naive and gullible? I do my best not to smile at people to not give them mixed messages but they forge ahead anyway.
Okay. Trying to calm down. Breathe.
I still love Paris and I still want to live here. I love just walking around and seeing whatever is there to see. I like to shop here, especially with all the sales. I love the beauty of the city, with the buildings, churches, old stone streets, tree-lined boulevards, produce stands and lovely bakeries/pastry shops on every corner. What's not to love?