Cloudy and drizzly, but not too cold. I went first to an exhibition at the Grand Palais on “The Way of the Tao.” My reaction was similar to the way I feel about some other religions (Buddhism, Christianity): I find the original ideas rather interesting, and of possible application in my own life; I am left completely cold by the baroque cosmologies, doctrines and rituals that subsequently arise; but I can still really enjoy the resulting art, even though I reject the beliefs that inspired it.
Then I had lunch at Bouillon Chartier, which Hugo had shown me on Wednesday. Like Durgin-Park in Boston they seat you with other people when it’s busy; I was next to two French topers who were pleasant enough but absorbed in their own conversation. The food was good and cheap, the service was so-so, the space was cavernous and bright. While most of the patrons were tourists it seemed to me that the establishment has maintained its integrity, and provided an authentic-seeming experience.
I walked home via my former Montorgueil neighborhood, and bought the last tradition (traditional baguette) of the trip. My stay is coming to a graceful and satisfying end, but I’m still getting quite nostalgic!
After catching up with Lisa for our last farewells I met up with my first Parisian friend, Jacques.
We had kirs at Café Beaubourg, a stylish bar overlooking the plaza in front of the Pompidou Center, then a very sweet farewell dinner at L’Eglantine, in the Marais. The decor was pretty basic but the waitress was extremely sweet and the food was delicious. Jacques has been very kind to me throughout my stay even though he has a Parisian boyfriend and has been flat out studying for an accounting exam. I will miss him, but this was a great way to say au revoir.
Mot du jour: “couvre-feu” (Le Parisien). Literally, “cover-fire” but actually “curfew”, referring to the lifting of same in Bangkok. The English word derives from the French phrase.