Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 5: Getting out of the House

Today's tasks: Visits to the dry cleaners, to return clothes I bought (wrongly!), to buy a recording of The Pirates of Penzance, and to pick up my prescriptions for the summer.

Today's discussion: Riding the Metro. Nothing simpler--especially now that they have machines in all stations. One can buy a carnet (10 tickets in a bundle) so easily it is ridiculous. The Metro is a great invention and a great practical way to see Paris on a different level.

It goes everywhere.

You see people from all classes, areas, walks of life.

It is relatively safe and easy to negotiate.

It is terrifically urban and modern and Paris, once you think about it. Especially the stations in the 18th, in Montmartre, which is where we are. It is, in its own way, historical and 19th-century, rather than contemporary and 21st century. After all, by now shouldn't we have invented something better than trains underground? Like personal jet-packs or flying cars or molecular transportation rays? The Metro is rather linked to the heyday of Paris culture prior to WWI...

But I do love it, in fact, because in Paris people read on the subway. Newspapers, books. Most people aren't pecking along on a phone or iPad but reading. Using 15th-century technology, in fact. Wow. How do they still exist as a country?

What I'll do on Day 6: Go to the Centre Pompidou and see the exhibit on Henri Matisse. I have tickets for the show already (bought online earlier this week). I'll also probably check out their bookstore (where I first saw postcards of the works of Gerhard Richter--bliss!) because I cannot resist a bookstore.

I am a bookstore 'ho'. Not even ashamed of it.

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