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.