(note: written on Saturday 7/28)

Today was the day I left Grenoble, my home for the past 6 weeks, for Paris. I was a smart cookie for packing an empty weekend bag, as the laws of physics would not allow me to put everything into one suitcase, even if it does expand. However, the smartness of the cookie could be debated as I had to lug my backpack, my original suitcase (expanded) and a new, third bag. The third bag does slip over the pop up handle of the big suitcase (which has wheels), but every time I hit stairs, I thought “Merde” or “Damn” and proceeded to bang up my legs as I hoisted everything I brought to France and all the stuff that I managed to acquire since I have been here (which is clearly more than that 6 Euro package of dental floss). You have not lived until you have: lugged three suitcases down four flights of stairs, hoisted them on and off a train, dragged them through one Metro station, then dragged them through the most labyrinthine (and escalator-free) Metro station in Paris, then for kicks, up four more flights of stairs, this time narrow, spiral flights of stairs.


My legs are killing me (since I follow OSHA’s advice and lift with my legs, my back is not killing me), and I hauled my exhausted American ass through the Catacombs, the Jardin des Plantes and Père Lachaise Cemetery (which is beyond enormous – in an hour and 15 minutes, I only managed to find Gericault, Bizet, and Oscar Wilde (and I only found Oscar Wilde because I happened upon a huge-ass tour group). So no, no pictures of Jim Morrison’s grave, which I’m pretty sure is a requirement when you visit Paris. I did hear some people talk about how “Jim was waiting for them,” but I think it’s safe to say that that doesn’t count. I’m more disappointed about not finding Edith Piaf, Nadar, Chopin (since I have a picture of the cage in which his heart is buried in Warsaw, I wanted to reunite the two) or Molière. I doubt getting a map would have helped, as I kept looking at the big maps in by the entrances, and kept winding up in the same place.


You may have noticed with visits to the Catacombs and Père Lachaise, it might have been a morbid day, but it was not. I was too busy to get too maudlin, although I’m sure that will change. I did receive some death news, but not human death news. The Ex’s cat had to be put to sleep. He had the cat for nearly 20 years, and I felt bad for both of them. I know how much it hurts to lose your pet, and Cat was a hell of a kitty. I also wonder if the Ex’s house is going to seem lonely without the Cat. Like I said, it was sad news (though not altogether unexpected. But the day’s activities and Cat’s voyage to Kitty Heaven were not related.


As promised, some favorite signs I have seen in France:


Snack Gastronomique

Discount Mariage

(in Neon) Pain (alternating with a neon sign of a croissant)

Mr. Bricolage (bricolage is French for the activity of do-it-yourself)