I'm currently in the middle of a week and a half of vacation (for la Toussaint, which is All Saints' Day. Yay Catholicism!). So it's lovely. I sleep late and do nothing productive except for writing an occasional letter, usually, but yesterday I did something, and it was fun.
Do you want to know what I did? Okay, if you insist. (Blogging sort of drags me into a vortex of narcissism. But that's okay because I'm a teenager and teenagers are supposed to be narcissistic. So anyway. What I Did on My Vacation.)
I had been staying in touch with a friend from my pre-host-family-switcheroo school, and we had decided to go to Paris together over break because it's halfway between our towns and besides, Paris is cool.
So yesterday my host brother and I met my friend and her friend from Bordeaux at the Musée d'Orsay. It was fun. There was a stupendously long line to get tickets, so we decided to wait and try again later. We walked over to the Louvre (very close, but on the other side of the Seine) and took pictures of stuff outside. Mostly of the Louvre and the Tour Eiffel, but I also took a picture of a pigeon. I like photographing pigeons. [This would be a good time to post my pictures but that means figuring stuff out, so y'all can use your imaginations, can't you? Good.]
45 minutes later, we decided that the wait outside the Musée d'Orsay wasn't going to get any shorter, so we tacked ourselves onto the end of the queue (which means both Line and Tail in French, interestingly). 45 minutes later we had received our tickets from the caisse. The tickets were free, by the way. So essentially we had just spent 45 minutes in line to be handed valueless pieces of paper before going into the museum. But hey, admission was free, so I can't complain.
We looked at the paintings, but too quickly. My friend's friend was more of a Take a Picture to Prove You Were There and Keep Moving kind of person, unfortunately. But I did see lots of famous stuff, briefly--by Monet and Pissarro and Degas and Van Gogh. And one painting by Salvador Dali, whose work I like.
We spent the most time on Van Gogh's paintings, mostly because there were lots of photographs that needed to be taken. I spent almost the whole time in that room looking at this painting (image from the internet, not from my camera...):
I liked the blue swirls. They were mesmerizing.
ANYWAY. We finished at the museum, and Laurent went home and I stayed with my friend. We took the métro to the Tour Eiffel and took some more pictures. And guess what. I decided that elle est belle, after all. On a sunny fall day, with a French friend, in Paris, I think anything would have seemed beautiful, but that's not the point (or maybe it is). The point is that I like the Eiffel Tower now. Until I see her on a cloudy day, anyway.
My conclusion: We see reality as we want to see it, and there's no such thing as objectivity. (I think Plato or some other Great Man already said that 2400-ish years ago, but oh well.)
Then I took the métro and the train and the bus all the way home, all by myself, and walked home from the bus stop while watching the beginning of a lovely sunset (at 5:45 PM. Winter approaches.). Anyway, I got home by myself, in France. I was proud.