Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunny Sunday

My host mother is a darling woman, short and spry and young at heart, so I felt a little sheepish, waking up at noon on Sunday, just in time for her to feed me a delicious lunch. I certainly didn’t intend to so drowsily stumble upon her luncheon, in fact I didn’t expect any prepared meals for another 36 hours (oh woe.) Thus, when the smells of chicken roast burst in on my nasal passages, some southern corner of my subconscious drew the conclusion that it was that Sunday meal preceeded by a Sunday service of some sorts. Now, I know you're never supposed to discuss politics, religion, and what's the other...finances? with new friends—but in a moment of awkward silence I felt it was my obligation to provide a new subject and with my limited vocabulary I figured I could at least spew a few words related to religion (l’eglise [the church], la croix [the cross], le Dimanche [the Sunday]). So I asked if she and her husband attend church. To which she responded with gusto, “Mais oui! Nous sommes Catholique.” (woe woe woe). When I told her I am a spiritual person, quickly running out of vocabulary to explain my vague and relatively lazy religiosity, she asked: Yes, but do you believe. (crickets)

At any rate, the way that Paris shuts down on Sundays you’d think the Christians were expecting the Second Coming at their lunch table (not the miserable wretch of an unbelieving American girl). In fact, though Catholicism is the national religion, almost 1/3 of inhabitants are Atheist. Furthermore, in 1905 a law was passed to promote an entirely secular state and public sphere, separate from any religious ideology. This has manifested itself as a rationale for denying Muslim women the right to wear religious garments in public; yet…on Sundays all good shopping is closed. Jesus Christ, 1; all others, 0.

So, after my Sunday lunch I traipsed over to meet Becca and Emma in the Jewish/homosexual quarter (le Marais, troisieme arrondissement)—which is actually very lovely and does not remotely resemble a ghetto. The streets were flooded. Fashion-istas galore were ravaging the vintage shops. In the hunt for sorbet, we stumbled upon not one, but two tiny art exhibits. The first was an African and Caribbean exhibition, housed in an old stone building with a courtyard inside. If you appreciate clay boobies, this was the place for you (open until the 25th of September, you can find it at
               24 rue des Archives
               75004 Paris
or check it at The second was tucked between a lingerie shop and a cafĂ©. It was simply the first floor of a rather narrow building, with whitewashed walls showcasing contemporary art. What was cooler, though, was that there were crude wooden racks, with stacks of canvases of all various kinds of mixed media pieces, priced fairly affordably (see zem here: . If I ever again have access to money (a word to future travelers, warn your bank you’ll be abroad before leaving the States or they gon’ block yo ax-sass) I may very well go back and purchase something with which to decorate my new home.

the vertical garden across the street from the secret art museum

In further pursuit of la glace, we discovered that the French fancy themselves basketball players (which is almost as funny as the Iranians doing the same)...

cool stadium, huh?

France will never fuck up as bad as BP in the Gulf because their gas pumps are as small as Becca (midget size'd)...

and it is quite a majestic experience to do yoga in the Luxembourg Gardens, where your yoga mat is the grass and cigarette butts beneath your feet.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I really wish I could have visited these art galleries.