Sunday, January 20, 2008

paris, day 4

thsese pics are from days 2&3-> our first meal were tasty chicken sandwiches-the mayo was so good that i could have taken a bath in it!!; night time at the louvre museum, just beautiful; the construction going on right off our balcony >: ; a good dinner at a nice cafe a block from the apt.; the shot of us upclose when we were waiting for a bus that would never come (wheelchair issues!); and the gorgeous eiffel tower as we were walking back to the apartment.
it's sunset on day 4 and we've been in the apartment all day. juan's been sleep for most of it and i've been on the computer fiddling around. it's been cold and rainy here, which means i've been achey, stiff, and hurting. but i'm handling it - heck, i'm in paris!. the travel and excitement of getting/being here in paris has caught to me, and i'm feeling it today, which is one of the reasons i decided to stay home today.

i'm a bit sad and am trying hard to shake it because i am in paris afterall!! but i am. why? well, i really am having a hard time putting it in words without sounding like an ignorant non traveler, whose unappreciative of being here in paris. but i'm gonna try, so bare with me...

firstly, it's been a bit hard getting around, mainly because juan insisted on bringing my wheelchair. we can't, or have been told that we should'nt take the metro in my condition (by my trusty TA friends), so we are lugging the damn wheelchair around on the bus. and paris IS NOT disabled friendly, AT ALL. and the chair either doesn't fit in many taxi's or they just don't want to take you. so it's been hard in that sense. plus, people stare very hard and wierdly at me. it's amazing in a way, in how they stare! it's so very uncomfortable. it's got to be because of the chair/cane, because there are tons of people in this city that look like me with a strange sort of astonishment and perplexity - as if i'm a fool to be "out". this morning i was on my way to the bakery for fresh croissants/bread for breakfast with my cane when a woman, in her 50's maybe, dropped her bag because she was staring so hard and in such a way that i thought something was wrong, so i turned around to look too!! then i realized she was looking at me, which i had a feeling anyway. well, i just couldn't take it anymore, so i asked her in french if something was wrong, "non", do you have a question? "non", was there a problem them? "non", "aahh" i said, "you must really like my red boots then....i do too! auvoir madame", i said ... in french. juan and i are feeling a bit discouraged about going out. and it's making me very sad.

and mind you, i speak french fairly decently, and understand and read it even better.

secondly, because of my mobility issues and how hard it's been to get around, we haven't been able to see and do as much as i'd/we'd like. for example, i haven't really been to the louvre and the musee d'orsay yet. oh, we got there fine. day one was because it was our first day out and about, and it i just didn't expect, nor allow for how difficult it would be. day two was my fault- i forgot the closing times for the museums and it still took us longer than i thought it would. in addition to the time it takes for them to figure out what to do with me, where to send me. should i go through this door or that one. if they have an elevator or not. little things like that. so by the end of day 3, which was yesterday technically, i was near tears! one night we waited for an hour, in the cold damp night waiting for a bus because they didn't want to pick us up with my wheelchair. i just didn't realize how difficult it would be to get aournd this beautiful city for someone with mobility issues. and now that i really think of it... we havn't seen anyone in a wheelchair!! they're a few with canes, but you can tell that they're more of a style statment than a necessity. so where are those with mobility issues anyway?!?!

then there's juan. he's fallen into one of his moods. i don't think he's finding paris to his liking. he's uncomfortable here. but really it's as he is in most places and situations that involve coming out of oneself, and being personable, and having to interact and communicate with others. he says it's the language issue. well, there are TONS of people here that don't speak english. here we are in paris. we flew first class. we have a fabulous apartment (albeit with hideous construction practically on the balcony!). we are literally steps from the eiffel tower in a beautiful upscale nieghborhood. WHAT THE HELL DOES HE HAVE TO BE PISSY ABOUT?!?!?!??? ok. i give to him the things i mentioned above - that it's been difficult to get around because of my wheelchair. and yes, he has to push and carry my wheelchair around (well, he's the one who wanted to bring it!). and yes, he's worried about how i'm doing with all of this, healthwise. I GET THAT. and yes, that's a handful. but we are in PARIS! A i am very frustrated with him. it's the same 'ole, same 'ole (see previous post in august), but in paris. come.... on. !!!! dude... we're in PARIS!!

ok, i've vented. i must stop now. yes, stop. because at least we are able to laugh about this stuff. yeah, he's in a funk. well, so am i. but he has a more valid reason to be in one, whethe i agree with it or not. he is just so worried about me, and that we are in a foreign country who see's my situation so very differently, that he can't even let go. ... yet (hopefully). we were on the bus, after finally being able to get on one, and it was the right one. and he looked at me to make sure i was ok. and he looked so... i just wanted to hit him and hold him at the same time. love and stubborness.
well, we have been able to do some things. like go to the louvre. not in it. just to it. we had comedy of things go on. it was open late, so no problem, right. well, i wanted to buy the museum passes since we were there, but no one could agree on where i should go due to the chair. we went back and forth thru the main hall so much, that it was time to go. they were quite polite about it though. we were able to go the arc de triumphe, but we couldn't go past the street level because the lift was broken and had been for many months. it took us about 30-45 minutes to figure this out. nobody bothered to say anything eventhough they saw i was in a chair because they were staring. now we were ableto take a stroll down the champs elysees(or should i say roll lol!) and had some discovery in between. we did make it to the beautiful and fabulous musee d'orsay, but had no time to look at anything but the toilette. this was my fault. bad timing. but then, things take much longer when you're in a chair/cane.

so far everyone here is very nice and i love them (believe it or not!), but then i do speak my fair share of french, and understand/read even more. heck, everyday at least 2 people ask me for directions-and i'm able to give it them!! {{LOL}}!! it's trips juan out. hey, what can i say?!?!

well, again. i just needed to vent a bit. i have though, reworked our last two days in such a way that should make up for the first 3. tonight we will go to a nice (hopefully!) jazz club for dinner, drinks, and music. tomorrow we will hop on a tour bus to catch everything we've missed going to individually, and not have to worry about the metro bus. then on tuesday we will spend all day at the musee d'orsay. well, at least these are my plans. we'll see!!

be well :)


Lovebabz said...

Yeah but your venting in Paris---how cool is that!

Princess TinyButt said...

oooh lovebabz, you are so right. i know, i know. but he was raining so hard, probably unintentionally, on my parade. i know i was venting in paris, of all places!!, but heck, he was being pissy, in paris! lol!!!