I’ve been here almost a week and high points consist of waltzing with my sister after the Bastille Day fireworks, a concert of polyphonies medievales et orgue by Beth and her colleagues at longpont sur orge, a blood orange gelato and a just finished macaron framboise.
Low points in Paris? On the way to the concert, the train in front of us jumped the tracks killing many people. It reminded me why I’m here, not to impress people, or change the world but to live the ordinary life of a human being at this extraordinary time. I forget about the bulk of humanity when going about my life in Anchorage. My sisters and brother spin their webs a
so far away from mine that it’s difficult to feel that we’re all in the same barn. We just have different vantage points.
Beth and I were sitting at l’arene lutece when she heard some kids taunting adults. I couldn’t see or hear them until the folks in front of us got up to leave.
“Go home, you’re not from here, you don’t live in Paris”, they sneered. The adults asked where their parents were. The children followed them up the ramp and out of the arena, (to my wimpy relief) I am not a parent, but I suppose the parents of these children might not disagree with them.
Tourists and immigrants arrive even in Alaska and are blamed driving badly,dressing badly and acting silly. I noticed that Paris has a musee d’immigration. Their advertisement reads -one out of four French are immigrants. I wish I had shared this with the children.
Beth and I were both curious about the exhibit “Cheveux Cheris” at the musee du quai branly. Their ad featured a shrunken head with red hair eyeing a blonde bombshell type, or vice versa. Some of you may remember when the Peabody Essex museum displayed shrunken heads. The way we view the other as prImative is alive and well at quai Branly. I might give them the benefit of the doubt as to their cultural sensitivity but their exhibit of Yupik masks stolen by French men spoke nothing of their influence on the Birth of the surrealism movement. I should definitely leave them my body so folks can ogle a slightly dotty, inappropriately attired American tourist who savaged the French culture. Vivre la difference!