Chinatown, Louvre and more dead people

Trip Start Feb 21, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, February 26, 2007

In my wanderings Ive somehow found that the next most familiar language to seek out other than English for me has been Korean.  Something about those historical drama withdrawls I think...  I found Paris's Chinatown which has few Chinese really.  It's mostly immigrants from Vietnam & Cambodia and other French colonized places...  I swear if English hadn't taken over the world by now, I'm sure French would've...that or Spanish, one or the other...

Anyhow, Chinatown is pretty sweet, there's tons of little shops, TEA places (yes!) and little outdoor-ish markets and such.  And TONS of restaurants.  I found a places that served Thai & Vietnamese, and the food was great, but totally lacking of spices.  oh well.  And the bakeries have these little squishy rice balls filled with either tofu paste or tofu & coconut paste, which are regrettably drier than the ones filled with red bean paste back home, but still quite good nonetheless.  No one seems to know what red bean paste is here...  although asking if they had things of rice with paste of red vegetables (I forgot the word for beans) in broken French probably didn't help much.  sigh.......  But they had a post-Chinese New Years Parade here on Sunday which was FANTASTIC.  I hope I can get some pics up soon.  I was glad to find it since I missed out on the one back home b/c I was too busy packing... Parades in Paris, it turns out, are a great photo-op as well as a great way to get felt up though not as much fun.

Moving on, today I made it over to the Louvre to catch an exhibit on sacred Armenian artifacts.  I figured it was best to take advantage of an unbiased presentation of religious Armenian history while I could before heading over to Istanbul.  Whether I remember it all by then remains to be seen though.  Most of it consisted of extremely old headstones from the 5thish cen. onwards, as well as relics and lots and lots of books with similar printing to something youd find in the book of Kells.  It was extremely interesting and you could see the distinct change in their art styles as different people took over their land - specifically the ornateness of the Byzantine influence.

Also checked out an exceptional exhibit in the newly renovated Grand Palais on Sunken Treasures of Egypt, which was very long, very crowded, and actually quite cold. Yet it was good, but unfortunately will prob only make it as far as Madrid and Bonn b/c the artifacts are only allowed out of the country for a 2 yr period. bummer.

And finally, b/c I realize this is getting quite long.... went to the Cimetiere de Passy, where Faure, Debussy, Manet & Morisot are all buried with family, as well as the Renault (car) and Givenchy families.  Tomorrow I move on to Milano...
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