Sunday, March 27, 2011

Random Observations

Paris is not without its surprises. One expects the locals to be chic and fashion forward, but I really hadn't expected to see so much ... leopardskin. It must be in fashion this spring, because the amount of ambient leopardskin on the streets borders on the alarming.

Life here is not cheap. I am lucky, in that my rent and school fees are all paid up through the end of my stay, so no major expenses are looming. But there are sneaky little items that crop up as part of day-to-day life that have a way of surprising one, not always pleasantly. The price of one's beverage at lunch, for example. This afternoon I had lunch at a very nice little cafe near the Pompidou Center. My tuna sandwich, which was in every way delicious, was a mere 4.25 Euro, or a little under 6 dollars. But the cafe au lait that I enjoyed with it cost a whopping 3.85 Euro - just over 5 bucks! Even the regular coffee, the thimble-sized espresso one sees the locals nursing at every sidewalk cafe, generally costs in the range of 2.50 to 2.80 Euro. Four bucks seems a little steep, to say the least. Other options can prove just as expensive - on Thursday, I paid 4.50 Euro for my mineral water, while that pint of beer I had on Friday at Houlihan's Irish pub (or maybe it was Corcoran's) was a whopping 7 Euro! At dinner, what would have cost 15 to 20 Euro in Spain has a way of costing 25 to 30 Euro here. Not that I can whine too much - I'm certainly good for the amounts in question - but cumulatively it has a way of messing up one's projected budget.

My plan for earlier today, to see "The Social Network" at a nearby arthouse cinema, was thwarted by my failure to remember that the changeover to Daylight Savings Time took place last night. So by the time I arrived at the cinema the film had already been playing for 45 minutes. This wouldn't be the first time I've been caught out by DST, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

So I had to console myself by wandering around the Beauborg neighborhood - I've added some of the pictures to this post. Weather today is overcast, but I'm told that there has been snow in Alexandria, Virginia, so I'm not complaining.

Many things appear more profound in French. I can now say from personal experience that the TV program "Scooby Doo" is not one of them.


  1. Your photos are, as usual, excellent. Speaking of images, bring back the old whipping cats graphic is what I say. Don't tell your goddaughter about not liking Scooby Doo, btw.

  2. Let's try a compromise on the background graphic. Here at WC central, we aim to accommodate our readers' wishes. Because we are smarmy and ingratiating, and do not wish to alienate or offend anyone.