I must admit that I weaseled out of the cooking class. Maybe I shouldn’t have. But my gut wasn’t excited. Making Sole (some French word) was just not appealing to me. So I worked it out with the chef to pay him for the materials (I told him the day before) and we are no longer ennuyer (irritated). I think the reality of prepping the fish was getting to me. In the abstract, making a meal of sole sounded exotic and French. As the reality of it became clearer and clearer, my reservations about taking biology classes came back to me. I have a feeling it was not going to be like unwrapping a frozen fillet of sole and plopping it into a pan.
Instead I went to the Musees of Liberation and Jean Moulin. These two free museums are located at the Gare Montparnasse next door to each other. Jean Moulin was seen as the founder of the French Résistance – he was killed/died in 1943. The museum of Liberation is all about the Liberation of Paris in August 1944. I actually bought a book – a heavy book! – with photos from that week.
It’s Pentecost Sunday. And that’s another and the last holiday in May for France. But I have also noticed that anywhere there is a plaque to someone having been killed in the Liberation fight, the Marie de Paris (city hall) has placed a bouquet of flowers. That makes it feel like Memorial Day back in the States. I can’t find out why. I will ask around. I went by a government building the other day and saw a plaque that said it had been bombed during WWI and the marks were left for the world to remember. Similar to several places in London where you can still see the damage from the Blitz. People here grow up with these souvenirs; to Americans, well, to me, they are sobering reminders of what war is. We are so fortunate to have been spared.
After that visit and a bit of shopping (well, Galleries Lafayette just happened to be there!), I came home to clean. I appreciate my cleaning lady in Sacramento. But I would be embarrassed to hire someone to clean 400 sq ft. And I have found the way to reduce the cleaning time. No, it’s not do it faster or more efficiently. It’s to wait until I am hungry and then I clean right through and don’t stop and procrastinate in the middle of each task. I hadn’t had lunch and it was 4. So I whipped through the vacuuming and got to the restaurant for a very late lunch and early dinner. This is a new place for me – Coffee Parisien. When I walked by it coming off the bus, I noticed someone with a delicious looking hamburger. It’s a great but strange place. There are two others in Paris. They are basically American burger joints. The bacon cheeseburger was delish. Except for the fact I ordered medium and what I got was well done. No worries – it was still tasty. And the paper placemats – had the pictures of all the US presidents from George to Barack.
This Sunday the parks are filled with Parisians. And me. Rented a velolib’ and biked the Bois de Boulogne. High 60s/Low 70s. Clouds and sunshine. Saw families, dogs, bike riders, kids on scooters, handsome horses, the equestrian competition at the Bois de Boulogne, ducks and baby ducks, and landscape and lakes. And saw the kids train that goes to the Jardin d’Acclimatation (kids zoo etc) This photo is for JS.