Tuesday, 23 December 2008
The Dawgs Travel Diary: Random Walks
His Royal Orangeness Karl Willem and PA/PR Gromit show you around our 'hood. So, that island behind the dawgs is Ile de la Cite and we are on Ile St. Louis. These two natural islands on the River Seine used to be the centre of the Parisii then Merovingian kingdom. Later, Ile St. Louis became the hotbed for all things bohemian and many famous literary and intellectual figures used the mansions on the island for otherworldly and creative pursuits, aided by all manner of stimulants from opium to ganja, to the great benefit of humankind.
Detail of a typical Parisian landscape. You need a licence to own a dog in Paris to pay for the cleaners who drive motorcycles fitted with a vacuum cleaner to suck up the poo. Plus, they wash the streets every morning.
HRO Karl Willem and PA/PR Gromit visit on of our favourite gallery cum library cum cafe - The Arab World Institute.
Those windows are not just geometric art...they are also functional blinds.
The view from the top cafe. Oooh, now for some Dasmarinas Village Gossip - So yung bahay kubo sa east end of Ile St. Louis ay dating tahanan ng French branch ng Rothschilds, ang mga bankerong Hudyo pero recently binenta nila ito sa mga kauri ni Ashley, ang Emir ng Qatar for the measly sum of $100M (cheap diba? Pang low-end lang sa housing project ni Manny Villar). So sinong nagsasabing hindi nagkakaintindihan ang mga Hudyo at Muslim? Pera is the universal language of peace and harmony. Anyways, Ashley, siempri ang mga kauri mo ay medyo maluho so balak nila i-renovate ang mansion with underground carpark, elevators, escalators at dahil Unesco-listed ang mansion, siempri ayaw ng mga villagers na ma-disfigure ang historic house so gawa sila ng petition (hindi online ha, please), ako rin naki-join bilang honorary villager dahil although close ako sa mga Hudyo at Kauri ni Ashley, I treasure the histories and the preservation of cultyuur. Sabi ko nga kay Inday na nagwawalis sa labas ng mansion kahapon ay sabihin niya sa amo niya, mag-hire nalang ng marami pang Pinoy para kargahin siya instead na gumawa ng escalator.
Algebra comes from the Arabic al jabr (I will never forget that dahil lumabas yan sa 1st quarter exam namin noong first year hay iskul). Siempre, algebra existed way way way earlier (otherwise the Babylonians and Egyptians would not have been able to do all those monuments) but it was the Arabs and the Persians who formalised the language. You know, Science and Medicine flourished in Ancient Islam dahil educated talaga mga imams noon. Hindi basta basta kung hindi mataas IQ at pinag-aralan mo, di tulad ngayon maraming illiterate imams. Same with Christianity, now both Christians and Moslems are led by superstitious cabals of idiots kaya nagkakagulo. Oh ayan, may natutunan nanaman kayo sa akin, dear miron ng aking online diary.
After browsing through some wonderful ancient Arabic texts (We loves old books), time for some modern literature so I went to the comics shop at Saint Germain des Pres.
I will never stop digesting komiks because this art form thought me how to read! And there are some very good graphic novels out there. (Dapat nga may Palanca Awards na ang Graphic Novel)
Surprise, surprise. Who would have thought that a Parisian store would stock up on difficult to find Steve Ditko comics???
Saint Germain des Pres of course is home to the golden triangle of Brasserie Lipp...
..and this. These establishments used to be the haunts of the intellectual and artistic elite but are now occupied by starry eyed tourists and their guidebooks. Para feel nila siempre na sila sina Sarte, Pompidou, or Saint-Exupery. In fernez, the food is still (variably) good. Pero, siempri, ayaw naman ng mga left bank intellectuals na nakikihalubilo sila sa mga taong andoon lamang kasi sinabi ng Lonely Planet na magpunta doon kaya may hierarchy pa rin. Por ehemplo, if the waiter puts you on a ground floor table hindi ibig sabihin na important tao ka at pwede ka nang kilalanin ng basagulerong kababayan ni Ashley na si Nasser Pangandaman...dahil ang secret society ay nasa basement. Kung hindi ka pinaupo doon, ibig sabihin, hindi ka nga nila kilala at hindi ka important enough na tao para maki-meeting with the natives. Op kors, on the normal tables, you will still get some nice (variable) food pero napapaligiran ka nga lang ng mga taong merong Conyo Ateneo accent. Eww.
For lunch, HRO Karl Willem and PA/PR Gromit decided we should go to this small eatery highly recommended by locals and not yet infested with tourists. In France, lunch is still paid for by your employer and this place traded mostly in lunch coupons. That is a good sign. We were quickly given some Kir Royale and implements of torture....because our appetisers were....
For mains, we had liver! Omaygad! It was so melt in the mouth goodness with just the right amount of bitterness and lots of garlic! Para kang bumobrotcha ng pekpek ng dalaga sa lambot!
The Nashman thanks HRO Karl Willem and PA/PR Gromit for the excellent choice of carinderia. Well done guys.
After lunch, we went to the tea shop to buy some gifts. We went to Laduree for coffee but there was a loooooooooooong queue. So the dawgs said why don't we just go down the metro and go up Montmarte! Brilliant idea!
The artists hawking their wares.
Oh my god! Nudies! On display! In a public square! Don't they know that once pervert senator Manny Villar's Anti Obscenity law goes into effect this will be illegal? And that they might be tortured by guardians of morality Manoling Morato and Etta Mendez?
We had coffee at the world's (allegedly) first Bistro. Bistro is a Russian word introduced (allegedly) during the Russian occupation of Paris and means "quick". Of course in 2008, I doubt that this place could still be called a 'bistro' because bistro means cheap fast food and looking at our bill, I is telling you, it ain't no Louisa's Cafe. The bonus side of course is that the waitress (at that time) was charming and pretty and The Nashman has both a soft and hard spot for charming and pretty girls.
The dawgs then strolled up the hill to watch the...
...Parisian sunset. Partly obscured by the tree is the Eiffel. Nakaka-iyak, parang South China Sea sunset sa La Union. Wish you were all here with us..(except Ashley's Royal friend, hindi siya invited.)
The dawgs then walked back to the island because it was time to pack and leave Paris for the next destination....
...well, ok, we have time for some ice madness at the Hotel Ville.
..This is our last deposit in Paris for 2008! From all the good food, we delivered a big yellow submarine that sinks straight to the bottom..
One last look at our 'hood! We thank our dear friend, na itago nalang po natin sa pangalang nag-imas kan May-yang for lending us her flat and for the hospitality. Me and the dawgs love her!
..all packed The Nashman and the dawgs went to J's place....(para sa makabagdamdaming abangan ang susunod na kabanata pamamaalam.)
The Nashman takes a siesta in J's soft bed because we are taking a long road trip. Ang bait ni J, kinamay niya ako.
at 9:56 p.m.