Friday, May 29, 2009

Blog from Paris 5-26-09

I'm sitting at a station right now waiting for my train to Versailles. I got on the wrong train at the last stop because trains for three different destinations run on the same line for a little while. Good thing I figured it out before lines split!

Paris has been an interesting experience. Not knowing any of the language has been an encumbrance, but not as much as I had expected. I certainly am not getting as much out of this city as I should because of it, though.

So far, I've been to Notre Dame Cathedral, The Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower. Those are the big tourist spots; I don't really know where else to go. Otherwise, I've just been wandering around the city. I'm trying to find a convenience store of some sort because I left my toothbrush at the last hostel, but I can't seem to find one. I think it's because I'm in the touristy areas and not where the locals spend their time.

I'm supposed to meet up with David Thornton sometime, but he hasn't called me yet. That's why I decided to go to Versailles. Maybe we'll get together for dinner.

I've noticed since shortly after I arrived in Paris that I've become "numb" to much of what's going on around me. At the Louvre, for instance, I was looking at some of the most celebrated pieces of art in history - Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa, the Rosetta Stone - and I wasn't filled with the overwhelming awe that others speak about and that I have experienced before. I think it's because so much is going on - new experiences, places, languages - that my mind is closing itself off so I don't become too overwhelmed. In a sense this is good in that it will allow me to get through this trip without any major difficulties, but bad because I won't have as many of the persistent memories and emotions that others usually have. This trip is certainly stretching me. Next time, I think I'll be able to handle much more before this numbness happens. Also, being with someone else would help. Aside from ordering food, I haven't said much since I arrived. We'll see what happens.

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