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Second Tuesday in Paris

Late start but at least I'm out. Had my first crepe in France, ordered and served through a sidewalk menu but made in front of me. Pancake batter is poured onto a hot plate, then spread really thin with a tool. Voila, crepe, though it didn't cook as fast as I'd expect given that. Had a bolognese with cheese.

Paris train stations: have trash bins, lots of trashbins. Sometimes more like transparent bag hanging from a hoop but not always. No bomb fear here.

Haven't gotten better since Saturday's breakthrough, functional but still have lingering phlegm and cough and feeling of stuff in my upper chest. In Bloomington I'd totally have gone to the Health Center, which I miss.

Dogs on the subway. Dogs on UK intercity trains too, and possibly city buses and trains.

Got out at Bastile. Some sort of parade. Or strike? FSU 77, SNU/IPP, FSU 93, Lycee stuff. Federation Syndicate Unitaire.
Retraites 60 ans. I suspect this about not raising the retirement age past 60. My sympathy is somewhat limited.
Se syndiquer nuit gravement au Medef - sticker
Boulevard Henri IV
It's pretty big; I stood in place for 11 minutes, and I haven't seen start or end.
Big plaza with stele, people milling around, a cart seeming to offer Revolution souvenirs. I asked a couple who confirmed my guesses. Then I found some big quiet boulevard Richard-Lenoir, very wide walkway between two roads.

Street signs are British style, up on buildings when they feel like it.

Lots and lots of police vans lined up.

11 minutes to Chateau Vincennes on 1, with fancier cars and stations with automatic doors. Surprisingly not crowded for 5pm

Chateau has signs I think saying it's closed today for une social movement - strike?

Went by a Parc de Floral sign, and I think into the Bois Vincennes. Big and late and not that dense, escaped out a side and went back. But not before passing a little collection of tents.

Restaurant customs: you ask for and get a carafe of tap water - no more dinking around with glass refills! At this restaurant, the carafe is actually a wine bottle.

This bar/restaurant seems to sideline as a cigarette store. "Tabac" means "we sell" not "smoking allowed", I take it.

Toilets seem more likely to be upstairs than in a basement... And at this restaurant a urinal is free but a stall costs 50 cents.

ATM gives out 50 euro notes.

Some funky station names. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Stalingrad.
I passed a Rosa Parks... apartments, IIRC, the other day.


Wednesday -- finally, the Louvre.
Lots of statues. Room of I thought at first ancient statues, but they in odd colors or materials and all in very good condition. Some mix of imitation and restoration, maybe. Then less ambigupus antiquities: Greek Roman Etruscan. Creepy weird pre-Classical Greek stuff. European sculpture, including the rarely shown Northern European stuff.

Having Welsh rarebit -- of sorts, with blue cheese instead of cheddar. And mousse again, though rather thick.

Just realized the trains don't verbally announce their stops.

14 October
Took 2 toward Porte Dauphin; aboveground didn't last long. 6 is also supposed to run high. Trains are older and we parked at station 2 for no given reason. Came out at Passe though and I'm getting views. Eiffel tower! Down again at Pasteur.

Got out at Montparnasse. Took me 4+ minutes of fast walking to get outside, down corridor after corridor, and even so I didn't emerge at where I'd arbitrarily aimed for, just at the first daylight. I'm arbitrarily pissed... Was walking around looking for something expensive (lots of food) but I'll try another crepe instead. Two, actually, sausage and cheese, and banana with nutella.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 14th, 2010 09:01 pm (UTC)
Strike in France because the government wants to raise the retirement age by two years. The french don't take kindly to that. They paid all the years based on the promise that they were going to receive when they reach the age. Now they're pissed. French are very vocal about things like that.

Nice to read from you again - safe trip to amsterdam. Enjoy a coffee-shop for me. :)
Oct. 14th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, this is the post I just built up on the phone and dumped out in frustration, so I didn't polish it. I did find stuff on the strikes:

Which AFAIK are still going on, though I haven't been affected yet.

I'm pretty pro-labor, but I do have trouble sympathizing here, when the US is contemplating raising SS from 65 to 67 and has better worker demographics. Well, had trouble; the article IIRC said full benefits don't come to 65, and you need to have paid in for 40 years, which, wow, working from age 20? Yeah, chance to retire doesn't seem so bad then.

Edited at 2010-10-14 09:16 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

Damien Sullivan

June 2018

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