Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mon Premier Jour

Ah, a nice hot café on a brisk day; and several at that, to stay semi-arabica-awake. I have learned that one should drink this after lunch. Last time I was here I would go to the canteen with folks from the lab, and after lunch while they would order un café, I would order un thé (tea) -- which would still be steeping while theirs was finished and they out the door.

Imagine my excitement when, from the distance, I see "Institut Mahler." Gustav Mahler is my favorite composer, and to see his institute in our new neighborhood is exciting. But why are there pictures of women and women parts in the window? Was this an exhibition about Alma, his wife, who was apparently praised for smooth skin and shapely buttocks? No! This is a beauty and health store that uses Mahler's good name to promote the resurrection of youth. How trite! C'est fou! (It is crazy.) Ils sont complètement frapper. (They are completely knockers.)

Right down the street I found a huge brocante, or antique sale, and buried my sorrow in the people selling all kinds of things, from furniture to furs, from books to hooks, all of it extremely expensive and unaffordable by us.

At the end of the day, all the sellers break down their stuff, pack it in trucks, and leave. Sometimes they leave a box or two of items that were minutes before several euros. And sometimes I plan to be there to look for useful items. (Je sais, je peux être complètement frapper.) This time I found the magazine, "Le petít Leonard, le magazine d'art des plus de 7 ans," or, "The little Leonard, the art magazine for those older than 7 years." Hey! That's me! Inside each one are interesting stories about art and artists in easy French. Ce sont parfait pour nous! None of my friends at the lab seem to know this great magazine, publised in the late 1990's. "How come you didn't have a subscription when you were 20?"

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