Today started off rather differently and started a pattern for the rest of my time in Paris that I found unceasingly amusing. Jessica, not I, was the lazy one who couldn’t get up in the mornings. She was vicious and angry and very attached to the pullout couch, so, I, of course, deliberately drove her crazy by poking her and shrieking “wakey-wakey!” This really irritated her, so, I was delighted. When Miss Cranky Pants finally got herself up and dressed, we all left for the train.
Today, I decided to go to Père Lachaise cemetery first, since we didn’t have the time to do it yesterday. I really like this cemetery, in fact, I like all cemeteries, but this one is just delightful. It is so peaceful–not so much today, though, but I will explain that later.
As we walked along the sidewalk to the cemetery, we passed a public toilet which two men came out of. Mother immediately assumed something devious, Jessica assumed that one was either blind or retarded and needed help using the toilet, Granny wouldn’t have noticed, I think, and I just shrugged. Even if I hadn’t seen this, I still wouldn’t suggest using a public toilet, no matter how self-cleaning the proclaim themselves to be!
As we approached the massive entrance, I was annoyed and excited to see film crews, crowds, and police. My family was afraid to go inside, fearing the police might say something to them, so, I had to walk right in front of them and go inside. I was hoping that it was open and they would let me go in. They didn’t say anything, and we walked right in.
The first five minutes inside the vast metropolis of graves and markers was spent photographing the map from various angles, which was, I thought in retrospect, a really good idea if you didn’t want to pay the two euros for one. You can buy them from the newspaper dealers outside the cemetery.
Jessica and I did what we do naturally when we are in a striking location. Model. So, we posed ourselves in tombs and modeled our hearts out. I don’t think she was having as much fun as me, but she never seems to enjoy getting her picture taken as much as I do — I love it! There is nothing I would love more than to be photographed all day wearing expensive clothing.
We walked along the old part of the cemetery first, which is my favorite area. The roads are all twisty and nonsensical and all of the families are trying to outdo each other with more and more ornate tombs. Some of them are incredibly creepy while others are just stunningly beautiful. It has shown me that when the monumentally dreadful day of my death passes, I shan’t be put into a box underground with a little marble marker. No, I shall have a monument built to my memory of various stones and statues, with an entryway and stairs to the burial chamber below, like some of the more impressive ones in Paris have. But, I want it done before I die, so that I can play in it like a little child in a playhouse.
We all made our way up to Edith Piaf’s grave. Jessica is now a big fan of my favorite French singer, I’m very proud of her. Now, if she’ll only start listening to Eartha Kitt! We stood around a while while Ma and Granny asked questions about who she was and what she was. Jessica was a little teary-eyed and then we left.
After this, we went to go find Oscar Wilde’s tomb. It was very close to Edith Piaf’s grave. I was kind of annoyed that I hadn’t come before, but it was still impressive to see. I hadn’t read any of his work the first time I came to the cemetery, so, this time I definitely appreciated the tomb more that I would have before. It was covered with kisses and words of love from various females — do none of these people realize he was a homosexual? Either way, all of the kisses are a very neat effect.
Then, Jessica, in an act more daring than anything she had ever previously done, decided she was going to kiss the tomb. I was thrilled and everybody else seemed surprised. So, she lathered on Granny’s lipstick and we waited for the area to clear out. Soon, there were just a few people, and Jessica planted one on Oscar on the right-had side of the monument. If I had something to clean my lips with, I would have followed suit, but instead, I settled for a hug.
From here, we went to find Jim Morrison, but first, Ma and Granny wanted to see the Holocaust area — which totally makes me uncomfortable, Jessica didn’t like it either, but we went anyway. I hate it back there, it just creeps me out, for the obvious reasons of the event, but the area itself is just unsettling.
Happily, after a few minutes, they were done snapping innumerable photographs and we made our way back down the road. We were kind of lost, but I didn’t mind. I was having a fun time looking at the graves. Jessica found one that echoed. So, I took a rock and tossed it in, it took several seconds for it to hit the bottom, so it was quite deep. There was one that was sculpted to make it look as if the occupant of the tomb was escaping. There was one with the name “Bastard” on it. It was good fun.
We finally found Morrison’s grave, which wasn’t of great interest to me. I really don’t like rock music much — I don’t know why, I like all other music, but rock…and rap, just irritate me. I like pop and acoustic music the best. Jessica and I got reprimanded at this grave by a cemetery worker for sitting on one of the graves, and after that we walked on.
There were hundreds of people streaming into the cemetery now, which was strange to see as it is usually difficult to find another living soul! They were everywhere all going towards a big opening where, when we reached it, was filled with more and more people. Somebody must have died, obviously, and they were probably well-known. I thought back on the recent news — no famed Parisian had died to the best of my knowledge, so, we went against the stream and pushed our way out.
Just at the exit, I looked at the card on one of the hundreds of flowers–all the names were the same, but they meant nothing to me.
From here, we went to McDonalds and had one of their bizarrely delicious bacon cheeseburgers. They are much better here than they are in America, they don’t even taste or feel greasy in Paris! They had free wireless too, so I googled and googled until I finally found who died. It was a man named Alain Bashung who was known as France’s “Gentleman Rocker.” He was apparently only well-known in France, because none of us had ever heard of him. I was glad that I hadn’t a clue who it was and not somebody I would have regretted not waiting for.
After lunch, we made our way to the Eiffel Tower to climb to the very top, but the lines were so insanely long that we didn’t bother with it, we just took pictures around the tower. Instead, I took everybody to the Japanese store where I bought two more lucky cats (they are so painfully adorable, it’s silly!).
We decided to go and get Jessica’s prom dress. On the way to the Metro, Granny and I stopped to buy some tourist sweaters that say PARIS on them. They are really tacky and I love them!
I had thought we were going to go to several stores and just look at the Galleries Lafayette as a kind of inspiration. I always like going there and looking at the price tags on things because they are so unbelievably expensive. I forgot to tell Jessica that we were just looking, though, so, she became rather stressed out thinking that she would never find anything in her price range.
We had fun at first looking at the €2000 fabulousness — Jessica even went alone into the Dolce & Gabbana store. I would have been way too afraid to do that! Jessica was getting frustrated, so we went upstairs for a snack and to look at the crazy wedding dresses. Everybody wanted something as we went upstairs, but when they got there, they all changed their mind, so, I was the only one who had anything. It was a rather dried up chocolate donut, but it wasn’t bad. It was worth it for the view, though. The food court (it’s more luxurious than what it sounds) has the most amazing view of the Eiffel Tower and Paris from up above where we were.
While Ma and Granny were somewhere else, I don’t really remember now, Jessica broke down. She sobbed about the prices of everything and how she would never find anything. It went on and on, but she finally calmed down.
As we descended the escalators, she decided to have one final look at the third level where she had seen some lovely things. We saw an amazing dress for €350, but that was still too much. Granny and Ma sat on a bench and Jessica and I finished the level on our own. As we exited the lingerie department, she was immediately drawn to a simple purple dress. It was wonderfully soft, lovely, and cheap — only €105. Mission complete. She found two others she liked, so we went and found everybody and into the dressing room she went.
In the end, the purple one was perfect and with delight, it was wrapped up and put into the signature Galleries-Lafayette bag that is one of the biggest status symbols in all of Paris.
With dress in hand, we made our way to Iolanda’s. Jessica and I had looked on the menu and had decided to eat the most Frency thing we could — which was escargot (snails). Mother wouldn’t pay for it, so we each paid about five euros for six little snails. We were both very nervous waiting for them to arrive, and once they did, we just kind of looked at them for awhile. Then, we each took our escargot tongs and grabbed one. With a tiny fork we twisted out the meat, which was both disgusting and oddly satisfying, and looked at it. It was rather revolting looking — kind of like a piece of brain covered with green specks.
On the count of three we both popped them in our mouth. I was first surprised at the flavor, it was very garlicky and nice. The texture reminded me exactly of a fatty piece of pork. There was a bitter aftertaste, but other than that, it was rather tasty. Jessica couldn’t stand the texture, which I found odd, so, Mother and I finished them off.
Once they were gone, I noticed that my lips were buzzing and that they hurt. When I said this, everybody told me that they were larger than normal. I turned around to look in the mirror and to my surprise and delight, they were bigger. My lips are already kind of big, so it made me look like Octomom. I realized that I must have some kind of allergic reaction. Mother wondered aloud about this for a while, but it must be a specific kind of allergy to a specific type of shellfish. I’ve eaten shrimp in large quantities and de-shelled them with my bare hands with no adverse reactions. I suppose I will have to try them again to see if I have the same reaction. In the end, it was kind of exciting to discover my first real allergy.
We all enjoyed our dinners, even if my chicken was dryer than it had ever been before.
After that, we walked to the Eiffel Tower to watch it sparkle. I wanted to be under it when it went off, but we were too late. So, Ma haggled with a street vendor for a light-up Eiffel Tower, which was quite entertaining. Jessica and I acted BA by spitting gum onto the ground, and soon after, we were back in the apartment, ready for bed.