Contrary to the impression you may get from this blog, I have been doing other things in Paris besides eating. Here are a couple of my latest activities:
Last Thursday, we went to the Opéra Bastille to see Rigoletto. This Italian opera had French surtitles, or supertitles, projected on a screen above the stage so that the audience could follow along. I was able to read and understand the words just fine; interestingly, though, this didn’t help me follow the plot very well. Sure, I got the gist: boy-meets-girl, boy-and-girl-fall-in-love, boy-kidnaps-girl…uh, what? The plot holes were a mile wide, but maybe I was missing the point. I think the focus was supposed to be on the drama of it all, rather than the actual sequence of events. And of course, the music. I’m glad that I went. It will make for excellent fodder at the next black-tie event that I attend.
At long last, I finally made it to Sainte-Chappelle- the beautiful chapel that captured my heart during my first trip to Paris in high school. I’ve been dying to go back, but it was closed when we first arrived last month. Today, in between my grammar and phonetics classes, I met one of my friends there. The line was surprisingly long for a random Monday afternoon in February, but the weather was beautiful, and I suppose this is a preview of the tourist season to come. Nevertheless, we made it inside before I had to split for my next class. The most remarkable thing about this church is the upstairs portion of the tiny chapel, and its gorgeous collection of stained glass. The pictures (which I’m unable to upload right now due to my slow internet connection anyway) cannot begin to do it justice. The afternoon sunlight streaming in made it all the more breathtaking.
So I jog here in Paris. Everyone jogs in Paris. Upon realizing that I could count all of the overweight people that I’ve seen on one hand (and not wanting to become the sixth person), I’ve started running a bit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not for long and I’m not very good. But since the weather has switched from sub-zero to perfect pre-spring, I’ve been more than happy to give it the old college try. I’m still working out my route, but I’ve been enjoying my exploration of Parc Montsouris (right across the street from where I live) and its surrounding area.
This requires a whole post, chockfull of my opinions on the French school system. Ready yourselves.