02.04.2011 - 01.05.2011 23 °C
Let me tell you, it was SO nice to eat Danielle's challah again! I like it's unique taste and am going to ask for the recipe! And the little Sephardi petites salades! Mmm! And we finished off the Pesach chocolates I got her. Shabbat morning, Genia met me at Alesia and came to the synagogue with me! It was really nice to have someone come with me! I only had one Ashkenazi siddur - mine - so I shared with her as best as I could. Of course, she was super confused, because she's used to reform synagogues, and most definitely not Sephardi ones. But she was happy she came. She couldn't stay for lunch, so I had to let her go. After lunch, Danielle and I took a nap. Then, we were woken up by a funny rap at the door, which Danielle recognized as Dede's. It was nice of him to come visit, as always. After, we all took a walk to Denfert together and sat in the little garden there. I took along an Amos Oz book Danielle gave me; she told me to read the second story in the book, which had to do with Communist Russia and Jews. I think it was a bit hard to follow, though I should've tried harder. Instead, I borrowed La Curee by Zola, because I've been wanting to read one of his books. There are so many classic French books to choose from! I had to pick Zola over Camus and Flaubert and others.
Danielle and Dede left, and I gathered up the courage to walk east, which I haven't done before. Before I knew it, I had made it to Place d'Italie (where the Chinese New Year parade had been in February). Then, I decided to make it to Bercy, as I had never seen that area before. It is across the Seine! Well, I made it. I went to the Bercy park (where there is a garden named after Yitzak Rabin, apparently!) and sat on a bench. Then, I realized that I was going to have to walk all the way back. Darn! That's the bad part about Shabbat walks. You can't get lazy when you get to your destination, because you can't take the metro or the bus back! I sat in the park a while, musing about this, until I decided it was time to go back. A bit more than an hour later, I was KO (knocked out - the French use this!) on Danielle's couch.
This morning (Sunday) at 8am, I met up with Caroline and Raphael (a Tunisian Jew I met through Amir) at the Gare St. Lazare, a big train station. We were headed to Vernon, the little town that houses Giverny - Monet's home and gardens. The very ones that he painted so beautifully!! It was definitely breathtaking there. Thank G-d the sun was shining and the air was warm! The gardens are lovely, with a huge variety of flowers, which we incessently photographed. The famous lilly pond didn't yet have lilly flowers, but the pads were floating about. The Japanese bridge had deliciously smelling purple flowers hanging off of an overhang above the bridge. We also got to go into his house, where I discovered for the first time that he was quite the afficionado of Japanese art and sketches. They were ALL over his walls, in every single room! In his big living room, some of his paintings were on display. A haystack, two Nymphaes (lilly ponds), one London fog, and some others. Every room was painted a beautiful, bright color! Most were blue. But his kichen was...yellow! And it was gorgeous! I think I'd like a yellow kitchen...it makes you happy! We weren't supposed to take photos inside the house, but I just HAD to sneak one of the kitchen!
Facebook photo album:
I also finally posted some photos from Margarita and my excursion to the Eiffel Tower and boat ride (very few from boat ride - we drank the beauty in with our eyes). Warning: Eiffel Tower overdose
It was so wonderful to have Margarita with me for a couple days! And it seems that I may see her again in Israel! We went up the Eiffel tower at night and took beautiful photos. We had a banana-nutella-whipped cream crepe at the bottom of the Eiffel tower. We looked at the Eiffel tower sparkling from Trocadero, the raised plaza in front of it, all the while taking photos. Eiffel Tower Eiffel Tower, can't get enough of you! Especially when you sparkle the way you do!
Then, at night, Margarita and I went to a Parisian club for the first time (for both of us) called Dupleix with Daniela, Alex, Ran, and two other girls. She and Daniela slept over at my place; I had to get up at 8am for class the next day! 4 hours of sleep. Not fun.
Later, while I went to an art exhibition for class, Margarita took one of the tour buses around. It's the kind that lets you off at the major stops and then back on later, when you're done exploring. She saw the Notre Dame, Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, Opera, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, and some other monuments! When she was done, we met up at the Notre Dame and went to dinner. She had escargot (snails) for the first time, and we both had salmon salad with baguette and glasses of kir (I think? white wine with blackberry (cassis), my favorite). So Parisian! I helped her buy cheese and gifts for her friends and colleagues back home.
At night, we took a boat ride (famous Bateaux Mouches) down the Seine (though it was quite cold!) and saw all the Parisians waving at us from the banks while they were relaxing no doubt with wine and cheese...(maybe not the cheese). It was funny to feel like a tourist again! I don't much like that feeling, but it didn't matter what with all the beauty around me. Margarita was completely dazed and in another world. Can you imagine, Paris in 2 days?? I would feel the same way. And then she was gone at 4am the next morning, gently waking me up as I asked her to so that I could say good-bye. She is really quite a special person, and I'm so glad to be her friend!
By the way, today is Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Rememberance Day). Let us remember all who perished or who suffered during the Holocaust, and may such a tragedy never happen again. And may the world soon know peace, speedily in our days.
In Paris, in the Jewish quarter of the Marais, there was an official ceremony this evening at 7:30pm with the lighting of candles and recitation of prayer. I wanted to be there, but I only just finished working on a presentation that I'm giving tomorrow. But the remembrance continues until tomorrow night, so I will go tomorrow and hopefully be able to light a candle, if they still have that. If not, at least I can listen to them recite some names of those who perished. Believe it or not, there are volunteers who are reciting all the names of those who perished, from tonight until tomorrow night! It is quite amazing!