02 October 2005

S**t and the city

If stepping in dog poo is considered good luck, then I am in for a good year here. 'Nuf said.

Still having a little bit of trouble getting up in the morning, but I think I've beaten the worst of the jet lag. Didge is fond of waking up in the middle of the night and barking, so I guess he's still a little off-kilter. Unfortunately, our major challenge with him also involves dog poo (or the lack thereof). Didge has been trained only to "eliminate" on grass, sand or other soft surfaces ... which are in extremely short supply around here. I had a huge victory this evening because I got him to pee on a tree on the sidewalk -- never thought I'd cheer for him hiking his leg, but hey, what can you do? For now, we still have to walk him two long blocks up to a teeny little park to get him to "complete the transaction" so to speak. But, he better figure this out before it gets really cold!!

Speaking of cold, man, am I glad that I got that great fleece sweatshirt from RLL! I wore it yesterday and today as a jacket, and it is soooo perfect. It's plenty warm, but it zips all the way down so that I can take it off if I get too hot. The weather around here is typical fall - sunny one minute, breezy and rainy the next. I'll definitely get a lot of mileage out of this. Thanks again everyone!!

So, for today's sightseeing, we started at the Parc Montsourris, which is a medium-sized park close to our apartment in the 14th. Wow, totally beautiful! There was a point when I turned to Colin and said that it just seemed like a dream -- it was so picturesque. There were families playing soccer, elderly couples walking and holding hands, children riding ponies and a little carousel ... seriously, you couldn't have painted a more perfect scene if you tried. We had a nice time walking around with Didge, enjoying the weather and scenery. I don't know if the picture to the left is clear enough, but Colin and Didge are on the bridge amongst the foliage there.

After the park, we dropped Didge off at the apartment and went to the Cimitiere Montparnasse, where Georges Auric is buried. (For those of you who don't know, this is the composer that Colin is researching this year.) There are actually a lot of famous people buried there, such as Charles Baudelaire, Man Rey, and Jean-Paul Sartre. My personal favorite was the geographer (of course), Paul Vidal de la Blache. Ah, my brush with geographic greatness! We actually had a lovely time. The cemetary was a bit overwhelming - it's really not like any cemetaries in the US - much more ornate and austere, for some reason. Of course, I like the reverent simplicity of Arlington in D.C. as well, but that's a different kind of impact all together.

Here are the pictures of Vidal de la Blache's grave.

This evening, we helped Annie Hesp hail a cab to her apartment (not an easy task, since NO ONE wants to drive from the 14th to the 18th, apparently) But , here's the cool part that we just learned -- Harmud Karzai drove by us!! (The president of Afghanistan) I was chuckling because the police had completely stopped traffic at this big intersection with our street and Rue Alesia, and everyone was laying on their horns like you wouldn't believe. But then, this HUGE entourage of police cars and fancy official vehicles drove by. We didn't realize it at the time, but Colin is watching the news right now and found out that it was Karzai. How about that??

Well, tomorrow I get to attempt to get my carte de séjour (the residency permit). I'm not really that nervous, since Colin got his with relative ease. Actually, everything so far has been fantastic! I know it won't be as easy when Colin goes back to researching and I have to explore on my own ... my French won't get me nearly as far as his does. But, I have been confident enough to say some things, and so far, everyone has been really nice to us.

OK, Colin is getting antsy ... he wants to check his e-mail, and I haven't washed the dishes from dinner yet. Guess that wraps up my Sunday report!!


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