Day 4: Paris

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“The best thing about London is Paris.” –Diana Vreeland

It certainly is. To the blog…

My hair is simply impossible to style without a dryer. It looks ridiculously wavy and has too many curls when it air dries. So, I had yet another strange coiffure today. I wasn’t amused, but tant pis…what can you do? You have to make whatever you have work. Ugly people do it somehow, I sighed, so can I.

Breakfast was another massive and marvelous affair, aside from one small tragedy. Yesterday morning there was this wonderful cheese. It was like a blend of parmesan, mozzarella, asiago, and swiss. I don’t know how that’s possible, but it was lovely and I wanted to eat some more of it. Much more of it, actually. I wanted to devour it all. Sadly, this divine treat was not presented to me, so I had another wedge of sharp cheddar. I like cheese an awful lot. I’m very thankful for cheese. There should be a holiday all about cheese. I’d start the day by splitting a giant wheel of parmigiano-reggiano, make fresh cheese curds later on in the day, have cheese fondue for lunch, make cheese soufflés for dinner and then have a cheese sampling as a midnight snack. We’d all exchange cheese related snacks, perhaps there would be a magical cheese day mouse who brought wonderful cheeses to all the little children who had been good. The bad children would get a nasty cheese like brie. I like this holiday. This will be one of my first acts as future president of our United States.

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We didn’t have another day pass for to get to St. Pancras station, so our host drove us to the station. We had some time to kill, so we decided to go and see the new Le Cordon Bleu near the British Museum. They even have a little restaurant/bakery that the public can go to on the weekdays. This was the only day we would be in London during the week, so we hurried off that way to get a nibble. Nibbles are important. I’m going to write a best-selling book about nibbles. You walk a bunch and nibble a bunch. It’s easy. Maybe I’ll be on The Doctors?

I’ve been to Russell Square a hundred times, so I’m not entirely sure what happened, but I was turned around. Mother told me it was a different way, but I wasn’t sure. When it was obvious we were going the wrong way, I’m not exactly sure why she didn’t let me know so that we wouldn’t have to hoof around London with heavy bags. She’s rather mean sometimes. So we were all pissed and we ended up in front of the effing Tavistock hotel. I had to yell at a maid there, once–she was a real bitch. Since we only had enough time to get back to the Tube station, I didn’t get any Le Cordon Bleu nibbles and I’m still pissed. I WANT THEM. Jessica was even more pissed than usual and she shouted vulgar curse words at us when we walked by a bus. She has a filthy mouth. Shame on her.

Back at the Tube stop, it wasn’t at all difficult to get to St. Pancras even though mother likes to make herself confused on purpose so that we can have a bit of drama. Maybe she’s just easily confused? Perhaps that’s so. Either way, it could not have been easier to get through immigration, security, and onto the train. I wish flying could be this simple. Those blasted terrorists have turned that convenience into such a chore. I mean, does anybody really have a bomb in their shoe? Why must I remove my jacket? I’m cold. I’m always so cold. I’m cold right now. Why is there no fire on this train?

We were all still pissed at each other, I was just pissed to have something to do. I’m never really that pissed and if I am it isn’t for long. Back to the station. I don’t like waiting. It’s boring. We looked around the shops and finally found the One Direction boys on the cover of Cosmo magazine. Good for them. I really don’t understand why I don’t see more of them here in London. I think we’re supposed to have moved on to a new group, but I’m not sure who that is yet. I saw a video of a young man singing and there were people screaming, so I assume it’s him. Who he was, though, I have long since forgotten. He had a silly name. It’ll come to me sometime. Moving on.

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It was time to board and we hopped on and I started blogging. The bluetooth keyboard paired with my iPad is like…the chicest thing ever. So much more convenient and light than a laptop, even though I’ve decided that I’m not ready to transition completely to the iPad. I’m probably going to buy a MacBook Air in the near future. Maybe the new, miraculously thin MacBook Pros, but I can’t justify those prices, yet. So silly for a screen–pretty screen, though.

In all the coaches there is a sign that looks like a martini glass that leads you to the club car. In all my fantasies, club cars are the epitome of elegance. Wood paneled walls, small booths, elegant sconces on the wall, a bartender in suit, always the sound of a martini shaker going, the occasional painting, and of course lovely views. What a disappointment this turned out to be. It’s all grey and plastic and the food comes from a microwave. The espresso claims to be Lavazza, but you’d have to punish the beans something fierce to make them taste like that. Where were the cloth napkins? Where was the patina of yesteryear? That was shit. I’ll probably go back. It gets boring to sit still for a couple hours.

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To pass the time, I decided to try out one of the restrooms on the train. I stepped in and said, “Why is there pee everywhere?” I don’t exaggerate by everywhere, it was all over the place. Confused, but not totally bothered, I decided to pee as well. Soon, all my questions were answered. The train moves a lot. You’re lucky to actually hit the toilet. I’m not going back there. Horrible place.

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In front of us was a Bible group who were comparing their Bibles. I’m all for everybody having a hobby, but why that? I can’t think of anything more boring. Pray and preach all you like, but shut up about it. I don’t tell everybody I meet about my interest in taxidermy and victorian-era ghost stories. They were going on and on and on and on about it. Thankfully I had my headphones and the new One Direction album to distract me, but I still heard aplenty of idiotic things coming out of their mouths. When we arrived in Paris, they began commenting on the abundance of graffiti on the buildings in the outskirts. Duh…it’s the outskirts and Parisians like graffiti as long as it doesn’t deface anything historical–it’s art. They effing love art. One woman said something along the lines of, “Look at all the graffiti. They must have Mexicans here. Are there French-Mexicans?” Bitch! As an honorary Mexican, I take deep offense to this. So, I suppose I really should have said PUTA! They were awful people.

Out of the station we hopped on the Métro and I was delighted by the 5 line. It’s been completely redone and the new trains are so nice. The seats aren’t sagging and stained, the floors are cleaned, the poles aren’t yet covered with dried syphilis germs, the ride is smooth, the doors glide open, there are bright lights, the windows aren’t scratched and splattered on, and there is a monitor to show you your progress. Marvelous. I was so pleased. I wish it had been done years earlier when I took that train each day to school. The 5 is one of my favorite train routes, a lot of it is above ground and you get a good view of the city.

I was so happy to be back in Paris. I’m an American and I’ve lived there for the majority of my life, but I feel that I’m a Parisian. Kind of like how you can choose your friends to be your family if you want to, you can choose your hometown, too. I’ve never had a hometown. I live in the country. Paris is my hometown, then. It just makes sense to me there. As happy as I was, I found something that filled me with disgust. WHY THE EFF DO I SEE PARISIANS WEARING SWEATPANTS FROM ABERCROMBIE & FITCH??? This is wrong. This is a travesty. Why has my native land polluted my adopted land so dreadfully? I hate casual clothes. Jeans are as close as I’ll get to it. In private I have loungewear, but it’s cashmere…not…sweatpants. Why would you want to wear sweatpants anyway? Do you want people to think you’re fat and lazy? Get some damn pants and a nice sweater. But on some shoes…not Uggs (too many of them in Paris, too). Put your hair up. This goes for you too, gentlemen. Clean your shoes. That hoodie becomes nobody. Why is your hair that messy? It’s only acceptable when it’s obviously styled to be messy. Bedhead is only chic when it isn’t bedhead hair. Do we all follow? Good.

We were soon out of the Métro and found our way to the apartment we had rented. Simple. It was just across the street from the Louvre, which is a really nice part of town. I don’t know it all that well, though, so I was excited to wander around and discover. By discover I mean eat. And by eat I mean gorge on pastries. Two people from the rental agency were there to welcome us in and I was a bit disappointed in the apartment itself. I’m a spoiled bitch, I’m well aware, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t share my feelings. It just wasn’t right. There were lots of doors, awkwardly shaped rooms, an inefficient kitchen, and all the furniture looked as if it had seen better days. Also, it had exposed wooden beams in the roof, which I hate, but I particularly hated these ones because they had paint all over them from the sloppy paint job the owner had either done or had paid to have done. I wouldn’t have paid for that shit. I would have demanded a refund. The grout was sloppy, too. I expect perfection when I’m paying ridiculous amounts of money. And to top it all off, the wifi was broken. Ummmmm…exsqueeze me? My life does not function without an active connection to the Internet. It’s not that I’m addicted or anything, I could stop whenever I want…but how am I supposed to look anything up? I have an entire list of things to do and no way to figure out where they are or what their hours are. Annoying! Also, everything was by IKEA, which is not a problem for me, I love IKEA, but you have to have taste when you decorate. The owner had none. Not even a bit. Not even a little itty bit of taste. It was sad. Even the scuffed floors were by IKEA. I don’t think I’d ever buy floors from IKEA, I’d get them from a shop that deals in antique scraps. Floors from an old building. I’d sand them and cut them all down to size and lay a custom herringbone floor with ancient wood. Wouldn’t that be nicer? Yes, of course it would. Even the view from the apartment sucked, it looked out on some crappy skylight. We were way in the back so we didn’t have a nice view at all. That was rather disappointing. In fact, the only thing about the apartment that I liked was the automatic shutters. You pushed a button and the blinds shut. It was like magic. I’m having them installed back home.

Once we had everything settled and finished with Jessica’s fit because she didn’t get a room all to herself, we went back to the Louvre to get some cash and get a bite to eat. Everybody was pissed at me because I wasn’t hungry. I was still stuffed from the sachet of peanuts I had on the crappy club car. They wanted cheeseburgers from McDonalds. Don’t judge, McDonalds is strangely good here. The food doesn’t taste like death. They even have these little potato wedges that I love. I wish we had them back home. I like McCafé, which is like a McDonalds bakery, so I had an espresso and a lemon tart. (McDonalds–I know!) They were both decent. The macarons from McDonalds are actually oftentimes better than those you find in most bakeries. How this works baffles me.

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Jessica and I wanted to visit our old area in the Marais, which we both adored, so we headed on the train for Saint Paul. It’s just wonderful down there. It isn’t the shops or the people or anything in particular, there’s just something about the atmosphere that I love. Tragically, my favorite bakery in the whole of Paris, Miss Manon, was closed. I wept a bit, but kept strong by shopping for tomato soup and cheese and Oasis at Monoprix. I love Monoprix. It’s like Target only smaller. We also got ravioli. We like eating. Processed food is amazing in Paris. Again, how this works baffles me.

We walked down the rue Saint-Paul to go to the bakery Jessica prefers (it’s awful) and look at our apartment building and then down to the Seine to see the water. I love being by the water.

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Along the way, I even saw a bakery’s kitchen. Snooping is fun.

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It was getting late, though, so we headed home to do some reheating of our food. We gorged. It was great. I hate that we don’t have Oasis back home. It’s an orange beverage that barely has any orange in it. It’s freaking amazing. I wish they made it in a powdered version so that I could take it on the plane.

We still had time to kill, so I decided to walk down to the Champs-Élysées with Ma. Jessica decided to stay in. Ciao! I took the rue Saint-Honoré instead of the Rue de Rivoli because the Rue de Rivoli is awful. It’s always packed with tacky shops and tourists. The Rue Saint-Honoré, though, is one of the most fashionable street in Paris. We saw many interesting things such as a modern looking bakery that I must try out and the Palais de l’Élysées where the President lives. There was something going on there and there were many reporters, so I’m sure that the president was amongst all the people in the courtyard getting photographed. I can’t say for sure that I’ve seen him, but I’m going to assume it. I’m rather a fan of his.

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As we continued along we came upon the Place Vendôme, which mother loves because of Danielle Steele (they’re very close, like me and Joan Fontaine). And then the Rue Cambon where the original Chanel store is. I love looking in the windows. This time, and I don’t know how I missed it before, I saw the mirrored staircase where Coco would have all her fashion shows and where Victoria Beckham was photographed with Karl weeks earlier. It was so exciting. I want to walk up and down those stairs like Baptiste and Karl do.

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As I explained to mother the backstory of Chanel’s life, we stopped by another bakery where she had a cherry tart and I had a poppyseed baguette. I love poppyseed. We finally made it to the Champs-Élysées and it was abuzz with activity, the Christmas market was setting up and lights were being readied in all the trees. I’ve seen it before. It’s lovely. Ugly as sin in the daytime. This street is far too commercial and I don’t much care for it, but somehow I seem to often be here. Oh well. I wanted a pastry and all the bakeries on our street were closed, so I had to put my prejudices aside and go to Laduree. I’m not a fan. I think they are way overrated. I bought some interesting looking square cake. They wrapped it nicely. They do a good job with design.

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Since we don’t have any Internet, we sat in another McDo (what they call McDonalds) and used the wifi. Ma used her iPad Mini and I had nothing. I was jealous of her iPad Mini and the way it fits in her bag. It would fit in the inner pocket of my jacket. I need one. My full sized iPad is a monstrosity in comparison. I don’t really need one. I don’t know if I’ll buy one, but they’re rather charming. I could have brought my phone along to use the wifi, but didn’t think about that, so didn’t do anything but sit there.

Up and down the massive boulevard are various displays. I saw many advertisements for Karl’s gallery showing at the Grand Palais. I must go.

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Back at the apartment, I ate my cake. Lots of walnuts. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great. It was pretty.

Good evening.

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4 responses to “Day 4: Paris

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