Friday, March 30, 2007

Some random photos

Now that I am officially done with all of my hard work for the semester (yes, I still have Tufts classes, but they're ridiculously easy), I plan to spend much more time exploring Paris, thus hopefully having more interesting things to write about. But I also want to catch up on the missing month; hence this entry, where I go back through my photos to try to remember what exactly I've been doing.

Studying. A lot. Made more interesting by going to the Bibliothèque Publique d'Information, at Beaubourg (known better as the Centre Georges Pompidou, or "that weird building with all the hamster runs on the outside"):

People form lines to get into the library, since it's free and open to anyone at all, although you can't borrow anything. When it gets full, they stop the line and wait for people to get sick of working and leave so they can let more people in. It's a great place to work, though, and I've found some of the more obscure books I've needed for various papers there. Also, being surrounded by thousands of other productively-working people helps. This is the language and literature section, where I usually hang out:

And here's what happens when Lisa snaps from spending too much time thinking about the role of passions as a powerful connector between Racine's Bajazet, La Fontaine's Psyché, and La Rochefoucauld's Maximes, and starts looking for something more interesting to read:
After debating the meaning of the phrase "réflexion théorique" for way too long, my German friend and I decided to wander outside by Les Halles and St. Eustache and eat crêpes. I took some pictures of St. Eustache that came out surprisingly mysteriously atmospheric:

One day (a while ago... don't remember when) I decided to go for a walk along the Seine, by the Eiffel Tower. I know that every single tourist takes a photo like this, and I happen to know that my own father has taken a photo almost exactly like this, but the Eiffel Tower is gorgeous. There is no escaping this fact. Add cherry blossoms, and you get instant postcard-quality pulchritude:
I also bought my first pair of big-girl high-heeled shoes - do I get a bouquet of flowers for this, or something? I can also walk in them, surprisingly enough. (Objects in photo, namely the heel, appear smaller than they are - they're a decent pair of heels.)
Finally, a fairly typical parking method:

All right - time to go to bed and sleep for a week or so. Blogging about hikes, Versailles, and le pays basque to come soon!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Okay, so it's been a really long time since my last post. I promise I haven't died, despite the tidal wave of schoolwork that threatened to crush me for a while there. I'm not out of the woods yet (ooh, let's see if I can mix some more metaphors in!), but life is looking much rosier now. I had what I like to call a "semaine d'enfer" a week ago, with a paper for my Paris III class due Wednesday (the topic was so ridiculously picky and specific that even my French friend said it was hard), an in-class essay for my Tufts language class on Thursday, and an art history midterm on Friday. Then I took off for the Basque country for the weekend, and then today I gave an exposé in my other Paris III class, about translations of Alice in Wonderland. So I've been just a tad busy. I still have to write a paper about Alice in Wonderland, but then all my hard work is over.

There's a lot to catch up on, and I'm not going to do it all in this blog entry, because number one, that would be overkill, and number two, dinner is soon and I'm hungry. So for now, I shall write a list, in no particular order, of awesome things about France:

1) Fountain pens! Most French students take class notes with fountain pens with erasable ink, then also carry around little ink erasers to fix any tiny little mistake. They also have rulers in their little pen cases, which they use to underline headings and such. Even if it's only one word, they take out their little rulers and underline it. They're a tad crazy. Anyway, I gave in and bought a fountain pen, and it has brought me great joy. I seize any chance to write anything, because it's so smooth and it makes even my little characterless chicken-scratch look cool.

2) Peach-scented toilet paper. 'Nuff said.

3) Children who speak French. I know it's their native language, and that it's completely normal that their vocabulary and grammar are much better than mine, but they are SO CUTE. The novelty of hearing them say "Maman! Maman! Regarde!" instead of "Look, Mommy!" will never wear off. SO CUTE.

4) Some buskers. There was a really good accordion player on Line 6 (the one that goes above-ground) the other day, which made me feel exactly like Amélie Poulain as I looked out at the streets of Paris to a soundtrack of accordion music... And today there were two clarinetists playing jazzy things to the accompaniment of a boombox thingie that provided the drums, etc. They were pretty good, so I was enjoying it, and then they started to play Take Five! Which is only the coolest song ever, because a 5/4 time signature makes everything better. So that put me in a very good mood.

5) Fresh baguettes. It is taking every single ounce of willpower I have to not go tearing into the baguette I just bought, because it needs to be saved for lunch tomorrow. It is calling to me, saying "Lisa, Lisa, taste my fresh crusty goodness!" but I will resist.

6) I know I've mentioned this before, but come on:

Does life get any better than having this for breakfast? No. No it does not.

Really genuinely loving it here, but looking forward to flying the ocean in a silver plane...