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It is Pâques today (French for Easter). For me mostly meant that a lot of stores were closed and there were a goodly number of well-dressed families out strolling. I took advantage of the relative quiet to do my first load of laundry. The washer worked perfectly and the balcony makes a good place to hang the clean clothes out to dry, even though a gust of wind blew over the rack while I was out (there’s a laundromat on the block in case someone wants to use a drier).

Then I headed out to a movie that had caught my eye. Nénette is a 40-year-old orangutan in the zoo of the Jardin des plantes in Paris. She is the star of the movie, and basically its only character, apart from a few other orangutans who wander across the frame, and occasional reflections in the windows of her enclosure. The sound track is overheard remarks by random zoo visitors (in French or subtitled), expert commentary, and a few snatches of music. If you like orangutans, as I do, you’ll love the movie. If not, well…

When I stepped out of the cinema I got caught in a hailstorm. Harsh! Later on the sun came out but it was still freezing. I’m looking forward to the kind of warm weather that my Boston friends have been enjoying.

This evening I had a nice date with a Frenchman whom I had met over the internet. After a pleasant meal he gave me a tour of the main gay areas and we had a drink at a not-very-threatening bar called the Eagle. It’s just down the street from where I’ll be living in May, and not much further from my current place. I don’t go out on my own much any more but it’s nice to know that the option is there.

My one real frustration of the day was failing again, despite a new strategy, in an attempt to rent one of the Vélib bicycles that are all over Paris. I’m on a mission now to add this last piece to my transport and communications infrastructure.