Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 6, 2013. Plans go Awry


The plan today was I would go to the fabric shop in the morning while Al went to French class, and then we would go to the Paris Aldi’s to shop.

I went off to the fabric shop, after carefully reviewing my map, and writing directions. When I got off the Metro I was disoriented.  Turns out  that not only do the streets change names every few blocks, there are also streets which have a different name on each side.  I got off on the side with the unknown name.  Back to look at the map in the station and discover my error.

A trip to Marche Saint-Pierre (Arrondissement 18) reminded me of the Garment District in New York. Trash on the streets. Vendors selling things. I could have purchased a Rolex and Chanel #5 before I reached the fabric store. A street lined with fabric stores, and bolts of fabric on display in front of each store. Worthy of a day of exploring.

Saint-Pierre is 5 floors. Cottons are on the 0 floor.  Clerks walk around carrying meter sticks to cut a piece of your chosen fabric.  I bought no fabric, as I hadn’t looked in the other stores, and didn’t need anything specific.  The 1st floor is linens.  So many lovely things.  I purchased only an orange dish towel with dogs for Amy and Drew- they love dogs and orange.  Three more floors to explore.

As I left the store, I saw a man leaving a free-standing toilette across the street.  I walked over with the intention of going in to use it.  He stopped me. Fortunately.  He explained that the toilette needed to be washed before I could enter.  He showed me 4 lights by the door- enter, in use, washing, and closed.  As I stood by the door, I heard sounds like a car wash- lots of water running, swishing, air blowing.  I was grateful for the warning, as I had taken a shower before leaving home.  When I entered, I found it very clean and dry.


Time for lunch. Stopped at a place called “All Chicken.”  As usual the French continue to impress me with the quality of everything I eat.  I ordered a combination of a hamburger, 2 pieces of chicken, fries and a soda (6.5E).  The burger was excellent.  Saved the chicken and fries for Al for supper.  

Back home to meet Al for our journey to Aldi’s.  We had bad directions and ended up wandering the streets of Arrondissement 18.  At one point, we stopped at a police station to ask directions.  Three very polite officers lined up at the front desk.  Although frustrated, I kept mocking myself, thinking “Oh poor me, lost in Paris forced to look at beautiful buildings, and see all the people.”  Fortunately, we found a Metro station and made our way home.

We saw “White House Down” in the evening.  Foreign films are often shown here in 2 versions- VO (Original version) and a dubbed French version.  The VO has French subtitles.  An entertaining film, just what we needed. Plus an opportunity to learn a bit of French from the subtitles.  Every cursing statement was subtitled “Mon Dieu,” no matter what the actual words in English.

Unlike the US, the concession counter is tucked away in the corner. We had 2 choices for popcorn- salt or sucre. I told the fellow that we call popcorn sucre “kettle corn,” which he found amusing.

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