This post is incredibly overdue but I’m so overwhelmed with school right now that I don’t have time to do a proper update so here are some highlights from my trip to Paris with Fay and Keisha:
+ Taking a Xanax before leaving Bologna and waking up in Paris
+ Repeatedly saying ‘Dude.. Paris” because, well who takes a weekend trip to Paris?
+ Hour long bus ride into Paris, then figuring out the metro, then getting greasy food from the burger place near our hostel in Montmartre
+ Crawling into bed and waking up really, really early (around 7 am) to have a breakfast of chocolate cereal, tea, and croissants before going to the Louvre!
+ Pretending to be Italian. Seriously. The Parisians do not like Americans. When we got to the Louvre I started asking questions in English, but when all the guards got snooty I tried again in Italian. They were a lot nicer after that. Oh, and European students get in for free, so I used my University of Modena ID, and didn’t pay for anything. Awesome.
+ Racing to beat the crowd to see the Mona Lisa. It’s smaller than you’d expect, but it’s not tiny. Don’t be fooled when they say it’s the size of a postcard.
+ Meeting my friend Emma for lunch! We got baguettes and sat in this beautiful garden and talked for a few hours before heading to the Pantheon. I saw Rousseau’s grave!
+ I went to meet Fay and Keisha at the Eiffel Tower but couldn’t find them and our cell phones weren’t working, so that was a bit stressful but they found me while I was waiting on line for the bathroom. Sheer luck.
+ We went to see the Arc de Triomphe, which is beautiful but is basically a bigger version of the one in Washington Sq. Park. As we were leaving I saw a kid wearing the same shirt as me. He walked past, noticed, and came running back towards me. His parents were laughing as they took our picture. Coolest six year old ever.
+ After that we wandered around and tried to find a place to eat. We ended up going to the Latin Quarter, but the place we chose wasn’t anything great. I had steak tartare, but I’d had better at Bistrot du Coin in Dupont Circle. We headed back to Montmartre and passed out.
+ Next day we saw the Musée d’Orsay, which is a great art museum. I saw Monets, stuff from Egypt, Van Gogh’s self portrait and they even had cyanotypes on display (I spent a whole summer making them for my internship). Absolutely incredible.
+ We got macarons from Ladurée, which is one of the most famous bakeries in Paris. So amazing. It made up for the restaurant we went to for lunch where they waiter insisted twice that Keisha, who is of Sri Lankan descent, try the curry. The onion soup was worth it though.
+ We went back to Montmartre, did a walking tour of where the film Amelie took place, saw Sacre Coeur, and I told a gypsy (in Italian) to fuck off because he put his hand on me when I refused to buy one of his trinkets. What ensured was a brief screaming match, in Italian, at the base of one of the most famous churches in Paris. I think Fay and Keisha were a little nervous since they’d never seen me that angry before.
+ Getting slightly turned around in a not so nice neighborhood and having an amazing dinner of escargot, bread, fondue, and creme brulée.
+ The crazy gypsy woman who tried to sneak on the Metro behind Keisha and started furiously praying when the turnstile closed on her.
The trip was really great. I had been feeling a little stancato in Modena so it felt refreshing to get out. The only two things I regret about the trip was that it wasn’t long enough and my camera died when we went to the Eiffel Tower at night. It sparkles on the hour!
Needless to say, I’ll definitely be back to Paris. I hear it’s a great place for a layover between Washington and Antananarivo.