There is a reflection of the pyramid on the building that I had never noticed before until today, which I found really pretty
Hello out there-
Greetings from a somewhat sunny day here in Paris! I’ve been keeping busy with a mix of work and play over the past few weeks that is quickly becoming more play and less work: woo hoo!
School is about over, I have only one more final on Wednesday and then I am done! It is hard to believe that I made it. I came over with such low expectations for my academic performance but in the end have done well and was able to turn out one 10-page paper and two 7-page papers in the last two weeks, en français of course.
Here are some cultural differences that still shock me after 9 months of living here:
1) I have been going to the swimming pool to get some exercise and am shocked at the difference. There is one lane for the people who go VERY slowly and then there is the rest of the pool. So everyone else, regardless of what stroke they are doing or their speed, swims to one end of the pool, walking along the short end and swimming back…so in a square. Bizarre yes and I can’t do the flippy
This was the line to go to the Orangerie to see Monet's works....worth it! We waited for about two hours and were in the first half of the line, proof that if you build it, they will come
turns at the end I like so much. My favorite though is that inevitably when I get caught in a line behind a slower person one swimmer will get fed up and pass by swimming UNDERNEATH everyone…
2) Today as I was on a walk in the park I saw three separate homeless people sitting on a bench reading their book, I hadn’t ever seen this before at home. Just thought it was interesting and indicative of the cultural values here.
3) This I have known from the beginning: they don’t like to cue up! Waiting in line for cultural events is like herding up for sporting events at home.
While I am not a Monet fanatic,I really do enjoy his work and have had two lovely experiences lately with him. First, the Orangerie museum has been closed for six years for renovations just opened up last week. So, I went and took a look. I waited in line for a good while but it was really worthwhile. The museum is composed of three rooms, each with three grand canvases of Monet’s later years. It was breathtaking. I can’t really try to describe them, and the pictures
So each room had three works of this size, impressive!
I have pale in comparison so I’ll just hope you all make it there.
Then I was lucky enough to have a Thursday trip to Giverny with the Montgomery-Brown family. (We had Thursday off because of the Ascension….taking off the Catholic holidays makes May fly by!) It was spectacular. Giverny is the town of Monet’s gardens and home. I was beyond impressed. The flowers were at their peak and the weather just right for this adventure. His house is filled with an extensive collection of famous Japanese prints. His dining room is BRIGHT yellow…and ALL yellow, while his kitchen is all blue! It was really just such a happy space. It couldn’t have been a better way to spend a day off and seeing the Montgomerys always recharges my battery.
I am not sure if the movie “Volver” is out in the USA yet but I went to an exhibit on the director Pedro Almodóvar. It was a really impressive exhibit full of video clips from his movies and a nice blend of installations too. Makes me want to go see the film and all his others too.
The new Sofia Coppola film “Marie Antoinette” came out
Giverny the gardens
The iris were at their best!
here in France in time for the Cannes Film Festival so we all went as a group to see it. It was beautifully shot, all at Versailles or in Paris, and fun to see with a French audience, but overall I was underwhelmed, but it reminded me that I think I’ll go back to Versailles before I leave to enjoy the gardens in the spring time.
Today I swore off the Metro because it was a little sunny, so I took a nice long walking tour of Paris. That took me to a garden to enjoy my breakfast and book, the Museum of the Middle Ages, and the Jeu de Paume (another museum) which had an exposition of the American photographer Cindy Sherman.
Off to get ready for that one last test!
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