Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Salut, mes enfants!

Comment ça va? Please don't ask me about the French language because the plot thickens. The more you learn it, the more baroque (to borrow the mot from my friend Miguel Roig) it gets.
It ain't easy, and it is not the most practical language, let alone the most practical ortography. French seems to me a bit archaic, but maybe that's just me and my inability to make peace with grammar.
Anyway. An interesting phenomenon I want to report is the following: Things here don't work until they do. And when they do, they are delightful. Case in point: the famous bike thing.
Second attempt at renting le velo: We go to the site nearest to our house. The computer is stuck. We go to the next one, one block over, ces't ne marche pas. Still, we see people happily zooming by in their velos, free as birds. A citoyen informs us that in front of Notre Dame the machine indeed works, last he saw. We mosey on over to in front of Notre Dame. We learn the complex, but not totally insanely difficult procedure from the citoyen in front of us. My AMEX card gets miraculously accepted by the machine, I am finally able to get my velo! I get a ticket for the day. Success. We ride around Paris until it's time for lunch et aprés, I leave my bike at one of the locations and that's it. Absolute genius. I say goodbye to my little Parisian bike and hope to see it again soon.
Then, after standing in line for a Berthillon ice cream, which is the sport du jour Sundays on the Ile St Louis and the only sport I seem to excel at, and here let me digress like Proust, whose house we passed by on our bike tour, and whose grave we visited upon our arrival, to tell you that I chose the flavors of pistachio and pear and that both were succulent, but the pear is unforgettable and you choose to miss it at your own peril. Then we descended towards the Paris Plages, the man made beaches along the Quais from the Louvre to the Pont de Sully, on the right bank, that the mayor of this magnificent town has erected in the summer, for the benefit of all.
This beach thing is something to behold. There is a section to play petanque, for free. There is, of course, more than one café. There is alcohol. There is a swimming pool that is closed but looks like it will open one day, only Voltaire knows when. There is a little plage with games for the kids. There is a restaurant. There are two dancing venues. There is sand with chaises and parasols. There is grass with chaises and parasols. There are these great things to lie on they wrap around some palm trees that are not indigenous to the Quais. There are picnic tables. There are rollerblading lessons. There is info about health. There is, incredibly, a post office that's open every day. There are tai chi lessons.
I'm telling you.

No comments:

Post a Comment