When I woke up, I was just not at all feeling like myself. It’s that jet lag monster, I thought, which annoyed me. I’ve never had jet lag in my life, and I have been to Europe many times without suffering. What on earth was wrong with me? I worried that I was getting ill, but I certainly didn’t feel ill. Just absolutely exhausted. In a bit of a funk, which is not my usual demeanor in Paris, I got on the Internet and tried to figure out what I wanted to do. I have a lengthy list of a thousand places I need to visit. I could live in Paris for the rest of my life and not see them all! The Musée d’Orsay was a prominent thing I could cross off, so I elected to do that, but then after a bit of research, I quickly changed my tune. There was a guaranteed wait of an hour and half just to get in! No thank you. Can you imagine what it’d be like inside? NOPE. I’ll get tickets in advance and visit later.
As I scrolled through Facebook over my morning tart, this tart:
I saw an article posted by one of the Egyptologists (Kara Cooney — do you think that’s her real first name? I mean…ka…ra…the ka of Ra? [One of the souls of the sun god.] And she’s an Egyptologist. Can’t be coincidence can it?) I follow. It was about the Egyptian tourism bureau agreeing to open up the Valley of Kings at night to combat the heat. That’s all well and good, but they are going to be showing off tombs that have not been open to the public in years. Seti the I’s tomb will be open and I screamed. I opened all of my windows and shrieked into the city. I collapsed on my sofa. I wept. I tore at my hair. I was all these things:
Look…I was excited. Forgive that mess. (I’m not really sorry. I felt so many things.)
Of all the tombs in the Valley, that is the one that I want to see the most. Immediately I opened the Expedia app, then weepingly I put it away. A little trip to Luxor from France would cost about $2000. I’m not a frugal man, as I’m sure you’ve picked up on, but even I can’t bring myself to spend that much for two days in Egypt. So, these feelings happened:
If it’s open now, it’ll surely be open later, and I have every expectation to visit Egypt a thousand more times. But…I WANT TO GO NOWWWWWWW!!!!!!!
I need a moment…excuse me.
Not quite emotionally repaired yet…
So, I decided that if I couldn’t visit Egypt, I could at least visit the antiquities in the Louvre, and I am very happy with my decision to do so.
I flashed my membership card and was escorted through security without having to wait. Then it took two seconds to bypass the lines and enter the museum. Truly there is not a better deal in Paris! If you are even visiting for a day and are under 26 years old, get this pass. I’m a bit sad, though, reader. This is my very last year to apply for the Carte Louvre Jeunes. Next year I will have to get a different card for people who are less than 30. I don’t want to be that old.
The wings were filled with tourists and I would have gladly paid extra to get rid of them. Honestly, the museum should charge separately for each entrance so that the people who are just wandering through and bumping into everything won’t disturb me while I’m trying to read ancient stela and papyri.
I’ve learned so much about hieroglyphs since my last visit and it is a constant thrill to be able to read them with a bit of fluency now. It’s far from excellent, but I can pick out names and a few words, and context clues help me to put the whole thing together. It makes me feel so accomplished and excited for the day when I can finally really read them perfectly.
I had a marvelous few hours, revisiting my favorite items and reflecting on the last time I was here. It was just last year, and I was in an absolute panic. I was about to make the decision if I wanted to go to Egypt or not. I had the funds. I just didn’t have the strength of will. I was terrified. Wouldn’t you be scared to fly off to Africa? To a country where you don’t know the culture or speak the language? A place where it’s routinely 110-degrees and the news is filled with stories about terrorism and political unrest? Well, am I ever glad that I listened to my heart and flew off. That trip changed me. That was my first true adventure, and I think of it constantly. It solidified my love of Egypt and introduced me to the marvelous people. But enough about things I’ve already spoken about at length a hundred times.
As the museum closed, I stopped by the McCafé for a macaron and an espresso. When Jessica and I are together in Paris, it’s our favorite place, and it was certainly a little weird to be there without her.
From the Louvre, I wandered through the Paris Plage to see the Louvre’s area. They claimed to have transformed their portion into the Nile, but if that was the Nile then my name is Cleopatra. The Paris Plage is a bit awful, so I went on to the street to examine the vendors and found a postcard of the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde. Smiling, I bought that and examined it with glee. It’s probably my favorite landmark in Paris, except for my old Miss Manon lady, of course.
I walked and I walked and I walked all over and then I crashed.