We are starting our third week in Paris. Here’s a quick update.
Continued cold and rainy. No snow. Apparently not as cold as back in the US. Maybe the Gulf Stream protects us from Polar Vortices.
We went to two museums this weekend. The Museé des Arts et Métiers (Museum of Arts and Crafts) is housed in an old abbey. It is full of old scientific instruments, old cars and trains, steam engines, and so on. The main reason I wanted to see it was because it is an important location in the book Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco (you may be more familiar with his book The Name of the Rose, which was made into a movie with Sean Connery). The pendulum in question hangs from the dome of the abbey, and is pretty cool, especially if you have read the book. The other museum we went to today was the Centre Pompidou, which is a modern art museum. It is an extremely out-of-place looking building that looks like a conglomeration of hamster tubes. Inside there is all the weirdness of modern art. I have been there before and it is a fun place to walk around. There is a small church down our street where there are regular concerts and we are going to one one Monday. Paris is not a huge city, and a lot of our entertainment just consists of walking around and exploring.
We try not to eat out too much except on the weekends. Since I am a vegetarian we have to be a little selective in our restaurants. This weekend we went to dinner at a Tibetan restaurant and Pakistani restaurant. Basically any kind of food you want is here. There is even an American restaurant called Breakfast in America that serves things like pancakes and hamburgers (including a veggie burger). I am also getting addicted to Mars bars, unfortunately.
If you read the prior post, one of the things I need over here to stay more than 3 months is a Carte de Séjour which is a residence card. When we went the first week to the Préfecture de Police there was a very nice lady there who told us what we needed for the card. When we went back we did not get to see the same lady. Instead, we ran into a woman who can only be compared to the Hound of Cerberus, the three-headed guard at the gates of Hades. This woman was not going let me get my card — not on her watch. She even tore up the instructions the other nice lady had given me. Now we have to get our marriage certificate translated into French by an official French translator here in Paris (we had already gotten it translated and the translation notarized in America, but that was not good enough for this harpy), and we had to get original bank statements showing we were not destitute, not just the printouts from the Internet that we brought with us. And, we had to cut down the biggest tree in the forest — with a herring. Actually that last is from Monty Python, but you catch my drift. Anyway, to escape this bureaucratic nightmare, we have hired a lawyer who specializes in this stuff, and hopefully we will get this done soon.
I doubt anyone cares, but our Internet service here is fine, except for a persistent problem with our Android phones losing connectivity with the Wifi router. I thought I had the problem fixed by making some changes in the router, but each time the phones work for a while and then the access point becomes “Saved, and secured” but not “Connected.” Basically any changes I make to the router reset it, so it looks like the problem is fixed, but then eventually the problem develops again. It never happens with the Apple stuff I have, or, curiously, with my Nexus 7, which obviously is also Android. I am convinced this is just a problem with the router, and I’m debating getting another wireless access point. After all, I am going to be here 6 months so it would be nice if everything worked. By the way, Netflix and Hulu are both blocked in France. YouTube works fine, and I can download movies with Google Play and with iTunes. But it seems odd that Netflix and Hulu are missing out on the market here.
What Am I Doing Here?
Good question. I am feeling a little less isolated because I am understanding the language a little better, and understanding how thing works here better too. Gretchen is taking her advanced French courses every weekday morning, and I am starting a French course too (I think the name of the course translates into something like “French for complete morons”). I am also working on my coding app for EP. More on this soon in a future post.
For now, Au Revoir!