Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Am Not a Cat

Le Chat Noir This cat right here is famous of course, emblem of a well known twentieth century cabaret in Montmartre, frequented by Picasso and other artists and rascals. But I'm talking about nowadays and what the Parisians gossip about in private. The only way for a tourist to witness this is to sidle up alongside them at a stoplight or in the Metro (hopefully not illegally, cough cough), and you know, dear reader, that I would give my best effort in this regard. And so this is what they sound like, or I should say this is the translation of what their offhand remarks sound like to an ear americaine.
"I am not a cat."
Perhaps they are saying, "I was not a cat" or "I will not be a cat in the future" or even "I would not be a cat if you paid me."
I myself would cheerfully be a cat since I am already a bit snobby and picky, though warmhearted I think. Pushover might be closer to the truth.
But I digress.
Another thing they say a lot is "la." This I love. It is sprinkled throughout their sentences. Blah blah blah LA LA LA blah zheblah blah zhezhezheblah LA!"
And then they say "I am not a cat" again.
We stopped to ask a woman where the Galeries Lafayette was (were?) and she looked at us and gave us one of those wry Gallic gestures as if to say "you have two heads and not brains enough for one!" and replied "par la!". Of course it was right across the street. Pres de la rue. Dans la rue. Whatever the freaking rue.

My poor photography skills don't begin to show the magnifique!!! gorgeousness of the Galeries L holiday decs. This shows one corner only, but really, all the sides of the building are lit up grandly. Why didn't I turn around earlier when I was facing the broad spectacle of the whole lighted city block? Ah, mesdames et messieurs, I do not know! I am ze lazy bastard!

Here is one of the charming window displays, showing a table set for ducks and teddy bears and other stuffed characters who are getting into all kinds of mechanized high jinks. Each window sets a charming tableau --"look at that one going across on the trapeze!"--and I was so sorry I didn't have Maeve with me.

Here a man approaches the Louvre.
I do not know him but I know he is not a cat and is probably about to say so.

And c'est moi at the Louvre. It was quite warm and mild the whole week and only a short jacket was needed most of the time.

Okay, so the Louvre. I guess "oy" would be an okay descriptor. It's pretty much overwhelming and I am going to stop here for now because, mon cheries, I am WAY behind on my Christmas preparations and must get with it toute de suite. More to come, bien sur.

And so, dear reader, I wish you joy on this day and all days.



At 2:59 PM , Blogger Kristina said...

Mercy, La Becky!

I, too, am not a cat.

At 6:16 PM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Moi non plus, Kris!!!


At 11:55 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

Joyeux Noël, and welcome back! C'est un bon chapeau, aussi.

I did not go in the Louvre (poor timing -- it was closed), though I did wander around that pyramid and the cool reflecting pools there. But even then I also found it overwhelming because the building went on and on and on... Someday I'll go back and go in, but in the meantime I'm looking forward to your review...

At 5:38 AM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Overwhelming is a good word for the Louvre. I certainly felt that way too. It's fun pretending to be royal, though.

At 8:24 AM , Blogger Kay said...

I LOVE the crimson beret Becky! Looking forward to more reports. What is French for laugh - whatever, your posts are tres amuse. (Je ne suis pas le chat aussi.)

At 8:40 AM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Thanks, Kay. I have embraced the beret for my own. The only thing I don't like is that one ear remains open to the elements. But c'est la vie, eh?


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