Guns and Music

Monday we headed for Notre Dame. It was a long walk but the day was beautiful and we were ready to tackle the city. Notre Dame was pretty crowded. We got our audio guides and I need to add that these guides were very very not accessible. It would be so easy to make things easier for everyone. The directions, once I figured out how to play them, talked about blue and red buttons when they could have said things like upper right and upper left.

As usual, the mighty church held us all in its glory. I have been there a few times before but this time there was a children’s choir singing and the building felt more in the present than the other times.

After we finished exploring we, I should say I, needed to use the bathroom. The bathroom at Notre Dame, at least the public one, is outside and down several stairs. Anna and I faced the challenge and entered into the deep dark under the church and found a line of over 50 people looking for the same place we were. Half way through the line, I remembered that we might need money that we did not have. Oh, well, it was too late, we were going to have to charm our way through if need be. When we got closer we realized the men were being charged but not the women. The men’s line was also moving more than twice as fast. When we got closer to the front of the line we were flagged into the men’s room and into a stall. I guess the attendants figured I could not see anything anyway. The stall was fine and even had a sink. Anna waited outside the stall. The urinals were kind of around the corner from her and there was no one else in the bathroom. A soldier came in in full uniform including a big gun. He went around the half wall and did what he came there for. Anna held her breath and turned as far from the half wall as she could. The guy never saw her when he came in but saw her and smiled when he left. I am sure they are both going to be telling that story for a while.

Then it was off to lunch and a couple more vintage stores.

Shakespeare and Company was our next stop. This is Neal’s all-time favorite book store. He wondered off his way and Anna and I looked through Paris travel guides. When we went to look for him in the upstairs of the store we found him listening to a young man singing and playing the piano. Anna and I found a bench and sat just behind the young man filling the room with stunning music. His name was Tommy Wallach and he was from New York City. Would have paid good money to hear him sing in a club or concert and here we were on a funky old bench in a book store in Paris. Does it get any better than that?

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