j’ai oublie: I forgot
une tasse: a teacup
marionette de doight: finger puppet
le loue: the wolf
le petit rouge chapeau: little red riding hood
la grand-mere: the grandmother
la mere: the mother
le chausseur: the hunter
The weather was gorgeous today. Sunny and warm. I bravely left my umbrella and rain coat in my room and headed to Porte de Vanves for the other big flea market. I bought a gorgeous tea cup and saucer for 10 euro (roughly $15) and a book for 4 euro ($6) to give someone as a gift.
Unfortunately, I left them at Cafe d’Enfer, where I had an amazing lunch of marinated duck (with an orange and balsamic sauce, that was really yummy until the sweetness became too overwhelming towards the end) with mashed potatoes and a salad, oddly constructed on the top. I realized after I sat down that this was the kind of place that I’d make fun of in San Francisco.
Sharlene recommended the chocolate souffle, but the p’tit l’enfer was the closest I found on the dessert menu. It’s a molten chocolate cake, with vanilla ice cream and thinly sliced almonds. Oh, and it’s good. (As if anything chocolate and French wouldn’t be.)
I remembered that I left my bag there halfway through the Musee Picasso, a museum created when Picasso died, and in lieu of paying the inheritance taxes on all the work he left behind, his heirs gave the French government his art. Ah, socialism!
There was a display in the Centre Pompidou of two Picasso paintings–one, seemingly a draft, painted on the top of a small box, and the other, the real thing, on canvas. The Picasso museum was similar–lots of pen-and-ink drawings of things he later sculpted or painted, a whole room full of guitar art (collages, sculptures, and paintings). A fascinating look into his creative process. One of the plaques said something like “anger came to him more easily than affection.”
On the way back to my hotel, I passed a shop that sold hand-knitted finger puppets and baby sweaters. The madame had the finger puppets grouped by story: Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Three Little Pigs, and a few others. I pointed to the Big Bad Wolf, dressed in grandmother’s glasses, bonnet, and dress, and asked her what he was called in French. “Le loue,” she said (I’m probably not spelling it correctly). Then she pointed to Le Petit Rouge Chapeau (“little red hat”), la grand-mere, la mere, and le chausseur (the hunter). I found it fascinating. I bought le loue dressed up as grand-mere in une robe jaune (a yellow dress–she also had blue and pink) for my nephew, Rex. And yes, I do realize that my family will tease me endlessly for getting him a cross-dressing finger puppet.
As I crossed the Seine on my way back, I saw a man with a marionette that was playing guitar (the theme of the day) and singing along to Radiohead’s “Creep.” And about 50 yards down was an accordion player. Really, a marionette and an accordion player on a bridge over the Seine on a gorgeous Sunday in Paris? Isn’t that a little cliche?