I finally had the chance to listen to the Americans In Paris episode for This American Life. I was waiting for my husband to be around so we could listen together, because the beginning was so great. David Sedaris is the main interview for the show and he starts by saying they (he and Ira Glass) are at the Louvre, and he’s never been inside. I really wanted my husband to hear this because though, yes, we have been to the Louvre, I so wasn’t interested in going when we went last fall. Am I interested in art – sure, some of it, but the Louvre is just massive, and always crowded, and there was even a time (not that long ago) that they shut down in protest of the pickpockets in the area. And my husband wanted us to go? Um, okay I guess.
So we went. And it was super hot and the weak air conditioning did nothing to help that. At one point we found a vent and the five of us fought to stand over it to have a brief moment of relief.
The baby will always win.
And the crowds – yuck. I don’t have a lot of issues with crowds, but if it is a case of do or do without, I’ll take without. I’d rather go to a specific place for a specific reason than wonder around a crowded area.
Oh and the Mona Lisa – tiny.
Tiny and in a protective case (totally understandable and I think for theft/destructive reasons more than anything else if I remember right) and roped off, with people seriously shoving you to get to the front of the line to hold their camera up for a picture. Unless you are handicapped, they did let someone in a wheelchair go beyond the rope to look, which I really appreciated. But I was elbowed and shoved and in general on high anxiety alert because I was like okay I’m done, this is ridiculous. Oh and check out the expression on some faces.
Do you see the awe and wonder and amazement at seeing this piece of art? No? Yeah, me either. Okay maybe in Chris.
We did get a couple of audio guides, but didn’t use them well, they were mostly for JW to have something to listen to and play with because we knew he wouldn’t be engaged.
My experience here has been fairly normal. The lack of language is of course a barrier, or it was, but now I understand enough to cobble the context together. I still struggle with how to respond, but I’m practicing every day. What David did during his time in Paris sounded familiar though, going to the same store over and over because they are nice, and being annoyed (I think it was annoyance) at the person selling the newspaper not recognizing him. There are a few people that recognize us, and I am surprised every time. But do we go back to that sandwich shop – yes we do!
We did go to the Musee d’Orsay and that was such a better experience for us. We loved that place. It also helps to have a plan and not try to see *everything* in one day or one trip. The museums are just too large for that.