The cleaning lady who accompanies the apartment came today. She’s a talker. I was warned. Yet given the mess with the gilets jaunes, I am staying in while she cleans. Best thing is she confirmed that the ants are not a new problem. I was so worried that my forgotten pastry enticed them in and I was responsible for the invasion. No. Josey says the building is rife with bugs. So, I am now relieved all I have seen is ants.
It’s a beautiful Saturday. And I feel quite stuck. So many metro stations are closed – Invalides, Concord, L’Etoile… Where you would make a change to another line. The cleaning lady was 20 minutes late because the transfer stations were closed from 8 am on. From what I can find on the internet, the gilet jaune are starting at Gare de l’Est and marching down to the Seine, across it, then to Champs de Mars and the Eiffel and Trocadero. The Eiffel and Champs de Mars are about 2 blocks to my west. I would have considered taking my kindle and sitting in the park today reading, it’s so nice. But no. Too close to the action and the possibility of tear gas. I do believe in free speak and in demonstrating. But I am all about peaceful demonstration. OK, some point out to me that the gilet jaune themselves are peaceful. Probably true. But they somehow are allowing the “hooligans” to join into their demonstrations and set things on fire and break glass windows. I have read that the chief of police refuses to give permits to any marches down the Champs Elysesees. Now the gilet jaune are posting – we must regain the Champs Elysesees. What? It’s enemy territory to be recaptured? Enough already. It has all the earmarks of a mob. Even today I don’t believe there is a defined leadership. How can the government meet demands when there are no formal demands? Trust me, I do think back to our early beginnings and the Boston Tea Party… I don’t have this resolved. More thought necessary.
But the bottom line – I guess it’s become a blog and reading in the apartment day. I do need to go to the grocery but that will wait until midafternoon. Saturday morning is the day for Faire Les Courses – Shopping! The French shop every Saturday. Shop early. This early evening I do have drinks scheduled with a French friend. I am hoping the bus will be running by then, but if not, there are working metros I can take.
Last night I went to a wine bar at the invitation of an American expat. Quite clever. Perhaps there is the same setup in the US? You are welcomed (in English – I complained about that to the host who from then on insisted I speak French) and given a card, like a blank credit card. Then you are shown many rectangular boxes with wine bottles you can see through a glass. There are small touch screens above each bottle. It shows the small, medium and large glass. You press one, put the wine glass under a nozzle and voila. Your wine glass is filled. It also shows the cost for the bottle and for each size of taste. When you are done, you hand the card to the Monsieur who is now speaking French. He tells you that you owe 10 euros. You pay. And possibly stagger out.
I did not stagger. I did, however, taste about 6 wines. I will go back. This evening was a meetup event; however, the wine bar is open for the pubic all the time. It was convivial. There were only 5 of us, a rather nice size for a quiet and interesting chat.
Going home was an Uber event. The bus I would normally take was not going to arrive at my stop for 40 minutes. Far too long to wait. The metro? Sometimes I am just not up to it. I would have had to transfer lines. Uber was simple. I don’t use it often but feel it’s money well spent when I do.
Metro vs Bus. Bus wins every time. Where I live now there are about 6 bus lines I can take. The variety is wonderful. I am seeing far more of Paris than on any other stay. Yes, some lines are bumpy. And some drivers are too fast. And sometimes they see you running for the bus and leave anyway. Yesterday mid-day I waved and waved and she left. But then she stopped about 20 feet down and let me on. Was that a power move? I don’t know. I said both Bonjour Madame and Merci bien.