We are finally in Paris! Well, to be honest, we’re actually to the east of Paris, in a region called Marne du Vallée, in a little village named Jossigny. When we found and drove into the village, I have to say I was charmed. I normally don’t get charmed. The last time I was charmed was in the Lake District, in a little village called Grasmere which is where William Wordsworth was born and buried. Before that was Melnik, a town in Southern Bulgaria.
But Jossigny really is charming. The road into the village technically has two lanes, but the right-hand lane is also used for parking, so you can really only drive in the left-hand lane, which is of course the right-hand lane if you’re going the other way. All of the houses are brick and plaster, with the bare vines of ivy crawling up the walls, plaster fences at waist height surrounding gardens with rose fences against them. Little apple trees and peach trees, missing all their foliage, block the view of the surrounding farmland.
We came upon our hotel rather quickly. I think most people would find this hotel charming. It’s called l’Hotel Cheval Blanc, and it has a tiny little reception about two feet below street level, which makes me wonder how old the building actually is, since it’s common knowledge that streets grow up throughout the years. There’s some sort of calculation I’ve heard of before, but I can’t remember.
The lounge is very chic, with leopard fabric covering the walls, the tables are espresso wood, all the sofas of cream fabric. I think the restaurant is a famous one. I seem to remember hearing about it from somewhere, and the chef seems to be quite celebrated. The food is very expensive, so unfortunately for us, we will have to keep to the pizzeria around the corner.
The first thing I saw in the room was a magazine for TV, which an advertisement on the front cover for the showing of L’Age de Glace Trois, Les Temps de Dinosaurs, which is translated to, of course, “Ice-Age 3, Time of the Dinosaurs”. Simeon and I had a nice laugh about that one, because it’s hard to imagine our favorite characters (mine, of course, has to be Scrat) as being in L’Age de Glace. I don’t know, it just sounds funny to me.
We took a very long nap when we got here, and even though we set the alarm, I think we pressed the snooze button every ten minutes for about two hours. I know some of our friends can relate to that. But it felt great not having to do anything, just to lie in bed and doze. We haven’t had that freedom for a long time. Then Simeon went out to find a store, because we were dying of thirst, and I started doing all of the comp stuff – tanning, cleaning my dress, etc and etc. I think I’ve been watching NCIS in French for a good three hours now.
Tomorrow we dance the Rising Stars Ballroom at 6:30. I doubt we’ll have time to drive around and see anything. Maybe on Sunday we’ll be able to, since we don’t dance the open until 9:00. But the competition is held at Disneyland, at the Hotel New York in the convention center. It should be a lot of fun. I’ve never been to Disneyland Paris, and although we won’t go on any of the rides, I’m thinking I’d like to get into Disney Village and do some shopping if I can. Not that I’m looking for much, but I’ll see something to bring back for any of my students, or my parents, or my brother. You never know! And of course, I am still looking for an affordable cloche hat. I bought one in the States about three weeks ago and was expecting it to arrive in time for this trip, but it came on Monday (we left on Sunday; I was rather perturbed). At Heathrow Airport this morning, in the Tie Rack shop, I found a very nice cloche that I considered buying, but for £30? I don’t know if I can justify that. I mean, two of those hats equal a dance lesson (almost). I’ll buy one for £20 or €30 or less, that’s my budget, and I really hope I can find one. There’s snow on the ground here, and snow on the ground in London, and I’m betting on it being at least cold enough for snow in Leipzig, and my ears are only warm if my hair is down! Wish me luck, I’ll keep everyone updated on my hat quest!
We’re watching French pop music videos now. There’s a group of three young kids, Justin Beiber age, that put a song together called “Be Wiz’ U”. Simeon and I could not stop laughing. This is over the top. Not only do they have to take a song that is mostly in French and title it in slang English, but they even wrote the slang English in a French accent! Oh… my… God!!!!! Really??? They couldn’t just call it “Be With U” or even, ála Eboniks, “Be Wid U”, and just blame the “z” on their accent. Oh no, they decided to title it with the accent built in! Wow. There’s a Waltz song at our studio that is beautiful, except for the fact that a Japanese girl sings it. Nothing against the Japanese, and she has a beautiful voice. But obviously whoever wrote the lyrics also doesn’t understand English very well. The lyrics themselves have a Japanese accent, never mind the singer: “Here comes the night/ So kiss for goodbye.” Kiss me for goodbye? Don’t cry, soon I’ll “be wiz u”.
Such is the phenomena of pop culture.