Thursday, November 23, 2006

Paris (un)done

No more true stories for you all. No more telling you that the ant ran away with the elephant or that there is a Chinatown booming somewhere in the world and fake LV purses are selling like hot potatoes, so much that the Chinaman got so emotional and contracted a painter to make a fake Da Vinci of me. Louvre bought that painting and called it Alpha Lisa.

I had great expectations of the Louvre only to realize my zest for Art and History took a hike at the most inopportune time. I had intentions of spending two full days assimilating what the entire museum had to offer. Suddenly seeing decapitated Greek guys with only their penises intact, paintings of women strategically covering a single breast with loin cloth that Gandhi later advocated for these purposes, Napoleon’s dining table and all his gaudy furniture …. had me running to exit and getting misled and lost only to find myself in some other art gallery where I walked into this painting.


I was so taken aback that I turned around and laughed so hard as to not hurt the sentimentalities of the people who were seriously admiring this work of art and taking down notes. After 10 minutes of uncontrolled giggling I looked up at the painting I was actually facing- a very gruesome depiction of crucifying of the Christ! Jeezus!

Next thing I know I was following the signs that led to Mona Lisa…. There were at least 23 of them. All the hype and we were greeted with that mocking half mysterious smile from this lady who was enclosed in a glass chamber and protected by an armed security. If she still has a reason to smile living in the Louvre day and night, I think we all better learn a thing or two from her.
We saw the Pantheon and hanging scrotum sacs (or balls as you kids would call it) from the ceiling. Some designer’s weird sense of humor, I guess.

Next we ate crepes, got drunk on wine and ate from garbage cans and drank from ornate fountains (I have a valid excuse- water and food is expensive in Paris). I even spat on the streets of Paris. Got up with terrible headache the next day and enacted the whole Bhishma pratignya thing to swear off of booze forever (after the Europe trip and New Years eve and…some blanks to be filled later). Yes, another must do in Paris was checked.

Next couple of days in Paris went off pretty quick just when I had pulled out my English- French dictionary to facilitate doing the laundry. I couldn’t figure out the machine and a helpful handsome French guy, tried to explain the whole process in French. I cast vague helpless looks and he took charge. He put my clothes in the washer (said something in French which probably meant ‘Put your clothes in the washer like so’), and then he proceeded to use another vending machine to buy some laundry detergent while continuously talking in French (obviously telling me ‘You twit, this is how you buy detergent). Patiently he explained the working of the machine, while pressing some buttons, turning some knobs and actually doing the whole thing for me. He could have been on mute and saved himself the trouble of dealing with my love struck self trying to hold on to every little French word and saying ‘Merci’ some million times. Lord have mercy!

In the laundry room, after my French God left, an American guy smiled and said, ‘I could have helped you, but you seemed to be having a better laundry experience with him.’

‘Merci’, I told him.

12 comments:

Gini said...

Yippee! Its already laundry day which means we come next. :P

alpha said...

gini dear, i'm thinking of stopping right here considering you all must be tired of listening to this Europe thing.

VC said...

you mean you were not able to see the symbolism in the nipple-pinching painting. it represents the superficial efforts of upper class people viz. the light haired woman(?) to bring about equality among the classes (both being naked), while having a hidden desire to have the lower class people (the dark haired woman(?)) serve them (pinch their nipples).
what else you got?

alpha said...

vc, wish I had you around as the museum guide. You might have figured Venus De Milo's arms were cut off by a blonde queen when she pinched the royal nipples too hard. Wokay, exlpain balls hanging (I mean from the ceiling of the Pantheon- which apparantly is a pagan church/tomb where they buried Victor Hugo)

Rash said...

All I want to say is...HOW COME I MISSED THAT?

Rolling now LOL

Anonymous said...

those pictures!! are you sure they were taken in paris not amsterdam? **furiously crossing out any future plans to visit paris and subbing with amsterdam instead**

things appear so much more saner over in amsterdam. in paris, they show all adulterated stuff under the general umbrella of "museum of xxx"!

how come the chinese dude did not need help with his laundry? that sure would have been one heckuva fun post of the one-eyed ("merci") leading the blind. would have been a nice touch if the sri lankan had made a comeback (a la jayasuriya) at the end of the post instead of the gallant american. oh, well, your blog!

- s.b.

Hehhh said...

See ? Nobody even expects you to be true anymore. I bet you cut and pasted a coupla images from various porn sites and did not go to the Louvre at all. Probably were lying around drunk somewhere.

: )

Don't stop the travelogues, please.

PS: - A gallant Frenchman, An American in Paris ... not to mention the Lankans and the Chinese ... what are you, Heartbreaker At Large for the UN ?

alpha said...

rash: You talking about the nipple pinching babe, I hope. me and my friend would make each other laugh by holding our hand like that (in air)

s.b. : Ok Ok I get it...you are still poking fun at my chinese guy!!!

hehh: lol...add a few Indians in Germany next. sigh! never thought fiction was my forte.

Ash said...

Ahh, what does Pi have to say about all these guys mandaraoing around you ? :)

alpha said...

Ash: Lets not get Pi into all this dirty laundry.

Anil P said...

:)

Anonymous said...

Hi,
From the perspective of an Art History major, it's not surprising that you didn't get the symbolism of the nipple pinching picture. As opposed to what a previous writer said, the actual symbol is that of fertility. The two women are sisters and the sister on the left of the painting pinches her sister's left nipple to indicate that she will be having a baby-- in particular, a male baby. This was a common symbol of the Gothic/Early Renaissance and can be found in other works.

From the perspective of someone with a sense of humor, I hope you weren't too embarrassed to be seen mistakenly laughing at a picture of Christ on the cross.