Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker


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 control, leather soled dress shoes, army green heavy slacks. He’s got that slightly elongated Gallic head. When he speaks English, his voice is higher than when he speaks French, though this is variable; I suspect he is amusing himself by imitating some of the American accents. Funny guy, anyway, and even though some of the jokes were tired. We ran over by about a half hour. The room was packed with people who just wanted to drink wine and those who know everything about it already. What is it about a 19 year old that prevents them from biting their tongues every time they know the answer? Was I like that? I think I was. Saraya and I had dinner at La Caspienne, on Raspail, a small place with a bit of elegance, but otherwise of no particular note. We had meant to go one block up to an Italian joint called Mamma’s, but we were gabbing and not watching, and so turned one block early, sat down, looked at the menu and noticed there was no pasta anywhere. We stuck around for decent Greco-Persian food. The waitress chided Saraya in a friendly, motherly way for not finishing her food. Nice woman. Saraya is 19, and the whitest, palest Brazilian I know. She speaks four languages and has an Italian boyfriend, to answer your unasked question.

Rambuteau metro stop
Green recycling bins
Self-washing public toilet
My metro stop on the let, a picture of the green bottle recycling bins that are everywhere, and a picture of yours truly, the king of rock and roll, in a 2-franc, self-washing, public toilet.

Otherwise. Ran across the Jardin de Luxembourg today, about the time I needed a break. A great, beautiful place. I took a wad of pictures, but none of them really captured how pleased I was to run across the trees and benches and finely manicured beds and the greenness everywhere, French folks reclining in all poses, necking even, but no sun-bathing on anything but the face, shoulders and hands. Non-Parisian French old folks on holiday in Paris look exactly like English old folks on holiday in Paris. My boxes arrived via UPS yesterday looking like war relics and carrying a hefty import duty. Morons in New York are responsible for this, but I doubt I will find satisfaction from here. At BHV, I bought an answering machine and two electric socket strips. I have yet to find a laundry.

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Grant Barrett