Ok, so I’m a day late in updating the blogette (which in my mind I now refer to as my blogette with brie. Get it people?). And what have I now learned? That with great blogging comes great responsibility (yes, a reference to Peter Parker/Spiderman, I am clearly of the same stature). Which really means…if you have a blog and don’t update it frequent enough for your mother, she will get on your case and ask you about it. Which I find entertaining, as she usually does this while I’m speaking to her on the phone, while I think to myself, “lady, you could ask me about my life right now and hear my human voice.” Also, I love how now if I tell her something even a LITTLE bit funny, she tells me, “you have to put that in your blog!” Oh mother dear, how adorable you truly are. I guess this only proves my theory that you and dad had me for your own entertainment….
And the reason why it took me an extra day? Because I was freakin exhausted after my field trip yesterday! We went to Belleville (where Edith Piaf was born) and then to the infamous Cemetery (where Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf are buried to name a few). It was the most walking of all the field trips (which if my teacher says “a lot of walking, she means we are walking an olympic distance today, did all of you bring your winged sandals today?) and plus a lot of kids in my class are sick/in the process of getting sick/will get sick. My teacher again did not understand why we were all getting sick, even when we told her we were being exposed to new germs. I (currently) don’t feel sick (because I have been taking my vitamins- yes father, I no lie), but I was really tired. I’m still adjusting to sleeping here and I get a bit less, as we eat dinner at 8 or later usually. So what did tired Kelsey do…as you can imagine, she made smartass comments, which I will now share with all of you:
1. After we toured Belleville, we then had to walk to the Cemetery. Sometimes I think it’s great that I have complete lack of all geographical knowledge and therefore don’t know how far away places are. When a friend asked how far away we were at a certain point on our tour, my teacher said “not that much further.” To which I said to her, “are we talking your speed or normal people’s speed here?”
2. At one point my teacher and the other teacher got a tad bit lost, so I casually mentioned that we should just end our tour and head back to more familiar territory. Reflecting back, I now understand why people always say I’m so kind and gentle.
3. Once we entered the cemetery, we needed to find a place for our class to sit (which of course would include more walking), and my teacher did not like my suggestion of “sitting on the convenient tombstones that are at convenient sitting level.”
4. I began to discuss with my classmate, Christine, about alternative ways to travel through the cemetary, ways that would require no walking. We discussed bike tours (we might need mountain bikes, as there could be some offroading), segue tours (we though we could all wear those safety vests and tell our future tours “watch out for the dead!”), and a trolly tour. The trolly was my personal favorite because I thought we could really theme it up, a la Disney Haunted House style. Future business? Possibly.
5. (This one wasn’t really a comment) While we learned of the cemetery, I sneakily took out my metro map to locate the closest metro stop, much to the delight of my friend, Aleah. After my teacher finished Aleah (who was of the sick population) and I decided to visit two graves and gtfo (get the fuck out- for those of you who are unfamiliar with this abbreviation; and yes, there will be intermittent cursing in this blog, I resist for the most part, but come on people, do you know me?).
And now I’ll fill you in a little bit about the places we went. Belleville is in the 20th arrondissement, which means that it originally was not a part of Paris. Over time, it has had many renovations and when you’re there, you feel more like you’re in New York or some random city, as all the buildings are modern and drab, with lots of complexes (no pretty buildings basically). It is now an area where a lot of immigrants peacefully coexist together. Belleville is essentially a hill and originally there were lots of abbeys and churches there who would make money through selling water (they got the water from the clay in the ground). So there are lots of street names that refer to water. There was also a battle there, during La Commune, where French people fought with themselves. So much of the original architecture is gone. I learned that in the 80s, there began to be a conscious decision to now approach renovating with the thought process of keep as much original as possible and then working with that.
As for the cemetery, it originally was a cemetery that no one really wanted to buried at. At some point, they made a law that said no more cemeteries would be created in Paris (this was back when the 20th arrondissement was not part of Paris) because of the lack of space. People thought it was too far out of the way. But then it became a place where a few “celebrities” were buried (Heloise and Abelard- legendary lovers were the first to start this trend). Napoleon also said that anyone was free to be buried here, which was also a big deal. Visiting the cemetery was interesting, it was huge! You needed a map to navigate, seriously.
The view from the top of the hill at Belleville
Oscar Wilde’s grave where many a person dons lipstick and kisses the grave. As I mentioned before, there are lots o sick people in my class and I decided to pass on a liplock with the stone petri dish, I mean grave.
This is a view of the cemetery. Cemeteries are very interesting to think about, in my opinion. Fortunately, I have not been to many cemeteries, I think just one on a DC trip in middle school. The graves are so close to one another and each is so different from the next.
Some of the graves were so ornate and beautiful and I just wanted to show an example of one.
Once we got back to our residence, I promptly did my homework and then passed out for a bit. We have our final tomorrow, so I can’t waste too much time not studying (although my phone call today with my mother would not agree with this statement). I’ll be glad to get my final through with and finish the 15 hour French class weeks. Which means that next week I begin my other classes!