Browsing Month June, 2000

School

Real school doesn’t begin for me until July 3. Began a wine and cheese how-to course at school yesterday, an extracurricular thing taught by a French-looking Frenchman: blue blazer over a cotton shirt with the top button undone, no undershirt, grey chest hair showing, thriving head hair springing out at all angles but still in more…

BHV

The best way to pick your Paris guidebook is to find out if it mentions BHV, the Bazar Hotel de Ville. If it doesn’t, don’t buy it. The BHV is a cross between Macy’s, K-Mart and Home Depot. Absolutely incredible. The basement is a paradise of knobs, hinges, plugs, little odd metal pieces, hardware, hammers, more…

The French

No surprises yet. My French, which I have been decrying for weeks as justification for lynching, has turned out to be more successful than I expected. The right words just seem to fly out of my mouth. I visited the school’s “campus” yesterday to pick up some paperwork, and today to use their computers (LibertySurf, more…

Monnaie

You just knew I’d start sprinkling everything with French words, didn’t you? So far, everything seems slightly cheaper than New York City, probably because of the great exchange rate. Shopping last night: muesli (hey, it’s Europe), orange juice, butter (the real kind), a box of Earl Grey tea, sterilized milk in a box, two peaches: more…

J’existe.

I am now in Paris. An uneventful flight. I exchanged my seat with an old Frenchman so he could sit next to his wife, which meant I sat next to a thin scummy Chinese man in a three-days-old, three-days-worn tan crepe suit over a horizontally striped French-style t-shirt. He wore a platinum and diamond ring more…

Books

In preparation for Paris I have been reading books. I am in the middle of my 22nd book about Paris, or France, or the French, this one “The Oxford History of the French Revolution” by William Doyle. I recommend it as a quick, smart gloss on a complicated bit of world history. I also recommend more…