L’Observateur : Bizzaritz Edition

Armed with a Tsingtao and a Leffe tallboy we headed over to the Tuileries to sun ourselves in the freezing-ass cold of the seemingly endless northern European winter. There was a gigantic metal spider in the middle of the jardin and the Tsingtao can featured what might have been the planet’s last flip-top lid.

The word baguette can mean “drum stick” or “baguette.” This word refers to a specific shape, not necessarily bread.

ATAC is a large grocery store not unlike a Hyper Casino. Except it’s two stories and the spices are well hidden. I asked the stocker, “Ou est l’épicé?” Or: Where is the spicy?

There is a raging debate in France regarding the appropriate hour to begin saying “bon soir.” Similarly, the Mexicans debate “buenas tardes.” No matter, the concierge and I ran into one another on the neverending staircase:
Me: Bonjour.
Her: Bon soir.
Me: A quelle heure c’est bon sois?
Her: [Undecipherable]
Me: [Struggling]
Her: Arrêt! [Followed by a French-language lecture justifying her certainty that the “bon soir” hour had no doubt begun.]
Two hours later, I went out to get a baguette and a random woman in the foyer greeted me with “bonjour.” The debate continues...

One of my students at Parsons was captain of Iceland’s U-21 Women’s soccer team a few years back. When she talked about it, she got that “eye of the tiger” look and I was a little bit scared. (Speaking of Iceland, the Sigur Rós documentary/concert film Heima is a triumph.)

The Badger snail-mailed me a copy of “Memoirs of Montparnasse” by John Glassco. To mark the occasion I treated myself to a steak lunch at Chez Paul and started reading:
Wherever the limelight is, you’ll find Ernest with his big lovable boyish grin, making hay. Balls. We’d better go to the rue de Lappe. I crave genuine depravity.
One of the cool things about living in Paris is reading old novels and actually knowing some of the streets and places they are talking about. In this case, the Rue de Lappe sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place it. As I was pulling the Paris Practique out of my bag to figure it out, I glanced at the street sign across the way. It said “Rue de Lappe.” What are the chances?!

1 comment:

  1. i felt the sting of the tardes/noches correction one time. it was before 8, but whatever. debating it would have only further exposed my shitty Spanish. & this guy wasn't messing around. often you find that certain people are not. after that, i just started saying "buena" starting around 6 or so. seems to be what a lot of people do anyway.

    as you read a book i sent your way, so i raid your shelf down here. first -Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo-, now -Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch.- amazing stuff. IT'S LIKE THEY WERE CALLING OUT TO ME.

    come to find kids are using my dirty, dusty truck to write secret messages of love to each other. i'm like the underground railroad of premarital sentiments among teenagers from stridently Catholic families. beats working.

    ok see you later.