Paris and that Damned Dan Brown

Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of France  ,
Monday, April 16, 2007

 Paris is like the sea. It's best to let it wash over you. Absorb it, let it absorb you.
The Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower are much grander than I'd ever imagined. Public washrooms smell sweeter than the women's fragrance section at the local department store. It's natural to see young lovers along the banks of the Seine as we take in the city lights by boat; this is Paris in the spring.
Notre Dame Cathedral sits on Ile de la Cite. Building commenced in 1163 and took about one-hundred and eighty years to complete. Saints, gargoyles, devils and angels adorn it. You could be a student of Notre Dame Cathedral for life and not learn all there is to know about this magnificent church.

I sat in a pew watching people take turns photographing one another in front of the altar, while Mass was being held. As one of them hurried past where I sat I slid my left foot out into the aisle ever so casually and sent the young model toppling. Then I looked around the cavernous cathedral for an albino monk in hope that I might be offered the job of holding the Vaseline bucket while the monk inserted the cameras up the backsides of the photo freaks.
Ellen and I have taken very few photos in Paris. It is said that "A picture is worth a thousand words."
If so, then seeing Paris with your own eyes is surely worth a thousand pictures.
The Da Vinci Code has brought tourists to Paris in droves. All of the main attractions require at least a two and a half hour wait. Dan Brown likely had no idea what he was creating when he penned the Da Vinci Code. Had he known he'd surely have chosen both likeable and unlikable characters, perhaps at least one the reader might even despise. In his haste Brown gave us only wooden characters. But what the Hell, he could have put Gumby and Pokey in the lead roles and it still would have worked. Good Catholics despise Brown's plot driven work. Good Christians of other denominations that've perhaps waited centuries for Brown the Prophet might think otherwise. What else could account for the mass interest in the writings of Dan Brown? The Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs and others likely come to Paris just to watch our reaction. 

Almost everyone who's told me about Paris has warned me of the dog shit on the streets. And that Parisians are the unfriendliest people on earth. Both are falsehoods, probably spread by fecophobic, dog hating Englishmen. Parisians are helpful and friendly. A couple of times a tired and confused Ellen broke into Spanish while trying to ask for metro tickets or a particular type of wine. The Parisians took it in stride with a good laugh knowing her Spanish was probably as shaky as her French and answered her in English.
While sitting alone on a park bench by a small church courtyard in Montmartre, a street entertainer, violin by his side, sat across from me. It was just after noon. I watched as he took bread, cheese, fruit and a bottle of red wine from his knapsack. He set the food on a small white and red checkered table cloth. He then peeled the lead cork seal off the bottle of wine with his teeth. Setting the bottle on the cobblestone in front of him he slowly pushed down on the cork with his middle finger. After pushing the cork into the bottle without spilling a drop he looked up, smiled, and offered me a drink. 

Ah, Paris in the spring. How could I turn him down. 
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dpbaril on

Fecophilic Francophile Fiddles Facts
Surely we can't blame the English whose love of the French countryside is exceeded only by their caninophilia! Perhaps the fecal fragrance of carafe of 'Chateau Cote de Seine' has clouded your judgement?

On the other hand, being in Paris is indubitably worth at least a thousand pictures!

Ainsi va le monde ici-bas.
Le temps emporte sur son aile
Et le printemps et l'hirondelle,
Et la vie et les jours ...

[Alfred de Musset] Extrait du poème 'A Juana'

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