IMG_5059 (2) It’s an interesting phenomenon.  You feel busy but have accomplished little but you are tuckered out.  Last night I had several things to research on Google and I decided to just go to bed.  Oh.  Wait.  Well, I had two hours of client calls so I guess that does fill out time and I am getting paid.  Need to reframe this thought…

I puttered in the morning on Thursday and went to the Musee de l’Evolution in the afternoon.  I was supposed to join a MeetUp group of sketchers but I never saw the group.  IMG_0193The museum was quite full of teens and toddlers and college students sketching too.  So I just sat down and drew some on my IPad.  IMG_0197

Of course, I got bored after several pages and decided to check out the other places at Les Jardins des Plantes.  (Thank God my museum-crazy friends weren’t with me because I didn’t read every sign.  I didn’t even go to every floor!  Sacre Bleu!)

Then IIMG_5077 discovered a treasure next door!  Literally.  Les Tresors.  Gemstones.  Crystals!  I don’t think I have ever seen such large crystals – some were 5 foot high.  Now there I did hang out quite a long time and read a lot.

IMG_5085And I saw more security. The museums are across the street from a very large mosque.  Apparently there are police now at all mosques and synagogues.

I am still surprised  when I see the machine guns.  IMG_5087And I couldn’t quite figure out if I felt more secure because he was there – or if I felt that I was in a potentially dangerous area because he was there.  Didn’t matter much as my bus came by as I was pondering the question.

Yes. Client calls last night.  Always good to earn money.  But with the time difference, these went on until 9..

Friday morning was more rushed than usual – I had to get to the Ikea shuttle location by 11.  But I wasn’t quite sure where it was and I didn’t want to be late and miss the only one.  It’s located by France Television offices.  And yes, there is security there!  In typical French fashion, there is nothing to indicate this is the shuttle stop.   Fortunately, the security guards see it several times a week and so pointed me to the right place.  And there I chanced upon a Frenchman: Bernard.  Bear-nar…  We chatted.  The French are rather reserved so this was a nice surprise.  He is a  musician who worked in LA in the 80s and spoke excellent English.  We alternated so I did speak some French but I need more work.. At Ikea he went to buy a chair and I to buy household goodies.

I got several hand towels for the bath and kitchen (some of them here were more like rags). And my plates!  For a whooping 0,59 euros.  That’s about 65 cents each.  And they aren’t bad at all and light weight.  I splurged and bought 5 in case I drop one.  Two matching wine glasses.  Some utensils.  Some hooks.  Pillow cases.  A pillow for the living room and cover.  I would have bought two pillows but just before check out, I took everything out of my basket and tried to pack it in my shopping bags and backpack.  That second pillow would have been pushing it. Happy with my purchases I grabbed a sandwich for lunch and checked out the other shops.  There is a little mall there at Thiais.  Picked up some cheap but very nice scarves – well I am in France!  IMG_4527And then went back to the shuttle bus.  Even that was so French.  Or rather, so non American.  The shuttle dropped you off in the truck delivery lane.  No sign.   And you come back to the same place to leave – and again, no sign.  You walk out through a chain link fence.  Good thing I remembered where to go or I wouldn’t have had a clue where the bus was.    Bernard was there and we sat together on the return.  He had told me he liked chances to practice his English.  When we got to France Television, I gave him my card with my email and told him I would be happy to meet again over coffee and he could practice his English but I had to practice my French.  So I might have a tutor.  Then I grabbed the bus home and noticed the pollution.

Frankly, I thought it was just hazy the past couple days.  Apparently we are experiencing worse pollution than Beijing.  Bernard talked a  lot about it and by the time I walked home, I was smelling it and feeling queasy.  So I have stayed in and am breathing my apartment air.

Starting a book on Germany before Hitler – thanks for the suggestion, Teri.    And later tonight will get on Conversation-Exchange.  I simply must start speaking French more often and longer than the quick exchange with shop people.  And maybe buy some flowers to brighten the place up.

Once again I have exceeded my 10,000 Fitbit goal.   But something is wrong with it as it tells me I climbed 125 stairs yesterday and 58 today.  That’s supposed to be FLIGHTS not individual stairs.  oh well.

Not sure of the plans for the weekend – low key I think.  It’s supposed to be chilly and cold on Sunday – 48 degrees.  I am so looking forward to sitting in the parks some day.  Soon?


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