My favorite hostile doorbell in Paris. This is on the avenue Émile Deschanel
or avenue Frédéric
Le Play, to the east of the Champ de Mars. Not exactly welcoming, requiring guests to
press their fingers against a lion’s tongue, is it?
View of Paris from Sacre Cœur on Montmartre.
Graffiti on Montmartre. Anyone know who this is? If so, please sign
my guestbook and tell us.
Dan and Mary
went to a bar on Montmartre one night and
made several friends from a few different countries. English is the default language, of course,
when people from several countries gather, so they had no trouble
communicating that evening.
They did get
into a political discussion having to do with the crisis in Lebanon and Israel. As Americans, Dan and Mary suffered no ill
will because their political affiliations are far, far away from George
Bush’s. So they all were able to talk
about the crisis without anyone getting into an argument.
On the subject
of who should send troops to the area, all those in the group at the bar
(including a man from Algeria)
agreed that it was Europe’s responsibility because the whole problem dates
back to the Holocaust in Europe.
That is exactly
my opinion, too. I am amazed that I
have not read any editorials along these lines in either French or American
newspapers (in addition to the papers we buy every day, I read some online).
What I do read
in the “person on the street” interviews in Le Parisien is that generally, people here in France think that
only the United States has the power to bring about the cease fire, so
therefore the whole mess is the United States’ to solve. While there may be some truth to that, the
general feeling of powerlessness in the EU may be a self-fulfilling
prophecy. There is no serious talk
here, that I have detected, about Europe
sending in troops, despite their historical responsibility for the situation.
particular, with its enormous colonial past in that part of the world (and in
Lebanon especially), and with the Vichy government’s complicity in the
Holocaust, would seem to have very high levels of responsibility when it
comes to the question of who should send peacekeeping troops and who should
step in to try to control the situation.
France, too, has
sizeable Islamic and Jewish populations, and would not be seen as so biased
as the US
would be perceived (especially with the Bush administration in charge).
While I love France, the French, and French
culture dearly, I find this inability to act to be troubling.
beautiful Paris. We have been blessed with cooler, beautiful
weather and very good air quality for several days now.
took the métro to Odéon and had a nice visit with our September landlord,
Ron. Ron is a retired American
designer who has taught at important universities in New York state. Tom and I like him immensely. Ron even took the time to show us around
the neighborhood, although we already know it well. Still, I needed to know where the nearest
grocery stores were located, and he showed us a Belgian seafood restaurant
named Léon—a place we never would have tried save for his wonderful
descriptions of the food there. We
The terribly loud construction work in the
street below our current apartment mercifully moved down the street a little
way, and has now stopped for the day.
I think all this work is scheduled to be completed in October, which
is when we will no longer be here. But
we can enjoy the results next year.
I am reading Nicolas Sarkozy’s new
book, Temoinage (Testimony). It is one of the big bestsellers this year
in France. I was delighted to see that it is printed
with large type! The photo of “Sarko”
on the cover is cute as can be. And I
am learning so much about the language by reading this book. Highly recommended.