Sunday, August 25

I do homework on a chilly and rainy day in Paris.

Very chilly and rainy this morning (5:30 am here). That's a good thing. I need to stay in and study all day. Our last big test has been moved from Monday to Tuesday. I want to avoid being embarrassed. Note that I no longer have the goal of "doing well". Just avoiding making a total fool of myself is now my goal. You don't know how hard these tests are. American education is way too easy and wimpy. We don't understand the real thing like they do it here. I'm just in awe of this whole experience. So serious and impossibly difficult.

Just went out on an errand. Extremely chilly and rainy all day. Had to sleep with a heavy blanket. Quite a change.

To revisit an extremely important topic from a few days ago, woman's shoes:

un talon aiguille = a stiletto heel. "aiguille" means "needle".
un escarpin = a woman's stiletto high-heel shoe
des chaussures compensées = woman's shoes with a wedge heel
une ballerine = a ballerina shoe or slipper
les mocassins = flat shoes (not "moccasins")
les chaussures plates = flat shoes
les boites = boots
les boites de cuir = leather boots
les sandales = sandals

You're welcome in advance. That is all.

A question from a friend: From the notes on the movie Irma La Douce (1963): "The Seine was heavily polluted at the time of the shooting. For the scene where Lord X emerges from underwater Jack Lemmon had to be given a number of immunization shots, including tetanus, before entering the water. He later said it was the most disgusting thing he had ever had to do in a film." I presume it has been improved? Do people swim in it?

My answer: Before I went to the Paris Plages I was told in no uncertain terms not to go into the water. You can't get into the water easily anyway, unless you're drunk and fall in. That's pretty easy. The Seine itself doesn't smell bad that I've noticed but under some of the bridges there's a distinct smell of urine, not to mention visible puddles of it. Lots of clochards (homeless people). It's sad.

On my trip in 2006 France beat Portugal in the semi-finals of the World Cup. There was an enormous all-night celebration. The next day I met a beautiful woman in a café on Île de la Cité. I called her Galadriel. We talked about the celebration. She said that four people had gotten too drunk, fallen off bridges, and drowned.

I love how on my Mac if I type a little bit of French, the Mac starts underlining all of my subsequent English words because it thinks they're misspelled. I'm still smarter than my computers. Not by much, but every once in a while I fool them.