Day 82–More Art, a Cafe, a Couple of Observations, Dinner

It’s another holiday of some sort today, 3 this month, nice if you can swing it. In fact, I’d like a law that says you can’t work on certain days! I think the Prince and a few others and I would have a little difficulty with that (let alone a 35 hour work week, no more).

Learned more about drawing and perspective at Graham’s, then worked a little more on the painting.

Had lunch at home, then hung around until later in the day when we went to Café de la Mairie where we hadn’t been for a few days, read Le Figaro and that was the afternoon, except for the American busking Dylan and Stones tunes down the street on rue St. André-des-Arts. He wasn’t bad, actually.

We have been noticing for quite some time how the French have no concept of a line, (queue in French; in slang, the word has another meaning although Larousse is too polite to say so). At theatres, bus stops, everywhere, even though you are there first, they will try to push in front of you.

As well, especially younger French wearing headphones, as throngs do, they will walk right into you instead of moving out of the way. Sandy’s been having none of it though, daring them to do it. Still, trés bizarre.

Athough most of the French that we’ve run across have been very accomodating and pleasant, especially in shops and galleries where everyone says “Bonjour,” it seems to me that the Parisians don’t have a cultural monopoly on rudeness, they just appear to have had much practice at it. I suppose that’s fair enough with thousands of Americans invading your city all year round. In the end, though, you have to love a place that has quotations from the profoundly-influential, anti-colonialist writer, Frantz Fanon (“Wretched of the Earth,” “Black Skins, White Masks”) on the Métro station wall (at Ste.-Germain-des-Prés).

Anyway, enough observation.

We headed (by the 86 bus) to the 11th arr., just the other side of Bastille, for an excellent, but simple, Italian dinner at Caffé dei Cioppi, 159, rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, located in a laneway, off the street. For a nice change from French food, a real find.

Had un digestif at Le China, 50, rue Charenton,, nearby.

I should add that we needed change for a tip in both the resto and the bar (it’s just a few Euros as a gratuity; the 15% “tip” is already included in every restaurant bill) but no one could give us any change for a 20 Euro bill which is all either of us had! In fact, the ATMs here typically spit out 50 Euro bills, let alone 20s. Anyway, the hostess at the Caffé did say, “Pas grave,” or, not to worry, so we didn’t.

Walked to Bastille, made our way home where thousands of tourists were still teeming around the quartier.