Paris Attacks

Largely through my work, I’ve spent much of the day immersed in the terrorism attacks in Paris. On top of the professional, there was concern for a friend who lives in Paris (who I’ve yet to hear from in reply), and for another friend whose partner lives in Paris (everything is all okay).

Though there are obviously tragedies which happen all of the time, and indeed attacks like these happen all of the time in the Middle East (including Beirut this week), this attack has really “hit home”.… Read the rest “Paris Attacks”

Michael Jackson at Versailles

“I’d like to know who approved this”, my friend David said today of the Jeff Koons exhibition at the Versailles Palace. “I mean, I quite like his work”, he added, but wondered why this world-famous building was deemed an appropriate space to exhibit Koon’s famous statue of Michael Jackson and Bubbles.

MIchael Jackson and Bubbles by Jeff Koons on display at Versailles, France 2008
“Maybe it’s because of the extravagance of the work. Or maybe he was influenced by Versailles?”, I wondered out loud, trying to understand myself. I mean there’s a certain extravagance in his work, and he uses a lot of gold leaf, but the works did seem kinda odd when exhibited against furnishings and art work with a definite eighteenth century feel to them.
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Great Views of Paris

“Just keep walking, it’s a scam”, I shouted to the young tourist couple, hoping they understood my English. I knew something was awry when on the approach to the Eiffel Tower, I saw a young girl approach them, pretending to have found a gold ring in the sand and asking if it was theirs.

Just a minute or so earlier, an identically dressed young girl had done the same thing to me. As she bent down, “discovered” the ring and came towards me, I knew something wasn’t quite right.… Read the rest “Great Views of Paris”

Sunday in The Marais

“Oh my God, she’s going to ask for directions”, I thought to myself when the forty-something glamorous woman with a suitcase called out to me today. “Oh my God, how do you say I’m a tourist?” I thought to myself, as she beckoned me to stop.

She quickly recognised I was an English language speaker, and explained to me her car wasn’t far away, and asked if I wouldn’t mind standing in the free car space she had found while she went to get her car.… Read the rest “Sunday in The Marais”