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Paris 19 June 2016

1392 : 866

Versailles Market

More iffy weather. Everyone's complaining, "We don't know how to dress!" People poking each other with their umbrellas, the usual iffy weather drill. 

Versailles has a Sunday market, and we've had our fill of the Chateau and garden, so we're glad to go. This is the biggest and most concentrated market yet ...and very little of the hangers-on crap that mars so many provincial markets. As you'll see, I'm more captivated now by the market people, both behind the stalls and out front, though most of these are behind the stall and many are caught right in the act of fulfilling the sale. There's magic to the exchange of goods for money.

We noted a new pattern: the serving staff filling the bags, calculating the price, and then you pay at the caisse, the cashier. I mention to Rochelle it's a new pattern, and a fellow shopper turns to me and says (in French) "Yes, a very bad thing, a bad precedent. Where did the trust go?" 

Part way through the market I heard what I thought was heavenly music ...but it turned out to be this fellow with his South American pipes.

1393 : 859

1394 : 857

Only a few new things in this market. The apricots are finally from France ... and what about that gorgeous big ray? Haricots verts from Kenya? What do you suppose those orangey-tan round things are? 

1395 : 855
<p>(they’re giant shrimp)</p>

(they’re giant shrimp)

1396 : 845

An unmemorable lunch, and then back to our practically perfect apartment to retrieve our luggage and say goodbye to Patti, our hostess. Then drag the bad dogs across the cobbles to the Rive Droit SCNF station, buy the tickets, and into Paris. "Oooh, look, I see Paris from here," says Rochelle when the Tour Eiffel comes into view.

1398 : 835

Work on the line dumps us at La Defense, and we have a serious hassle in and out several gates to get the right tickets for the rest of the ride to Châtelet-Les Halles. The mass transit system is very efficient and inhuman, and difficult to negotiate with baggage, even though everyone seems to have some. Lots of confusion and grumbling, even among the natives.

1397 : 841

But we get where we're meant to be, sit at a table for awhile (we were early) and then find, with a little difficulty, our final apartment. That's the view out our window: a corner of the new Forum des Halles and Sainte Eustache across what's to become the Jardin de Nelson Mandela.

We're right in between the Louvre (Wednesday) and the Pompidou (Klee exhibition on Thursday) in the heart of Paris ... and now it's time for dinner.

1409 : 809

Three words for dinner this night (at a supposedly famous restaurant specializing in snails): "Expensive. It sucked." Proving that even in France, restaurants, especially touristy ones that don't have to cultivate a following to survive, can have off nights. Enough said.

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