Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Sleepy Village Awakens!

Sorry, no pictures today for two reasons: 1) I forgot my camera this morning; and 2) it would be a rude intrusion into the privacy of my neighbors.

I'm enjoying Montmartre so much, I am going to have to force myself to leave my little Butte!

I woke up to such a different place today. I could hear and smell the differences immediately. It was loud. Early. Very early. And somewhere very nearby someone was cooking something wonderful. It wasn't the usual smell of fresh baked bread (yes, I can smell that every morning, can you imagine?). It was something much more savory. Something delicious. Something that many someones were going to feast upon much later in the day.

After a bit of housekeeping, I trekked up the steps to discover that mobs had taken over my little neighborhood. The streets were packed. Musicians were on every corner. Lines, lines, lines were now at favorite produce stand, my fromagerie, my charcuterie, my favorite "store d'vin" (ha! I just made that up!), and MY boulangerie. There was no seat available at my cafe! What was I going to do without my afternoon cafe noisette? Where had all these people come from? And would you all please just go home?

So the majority of the mob were tourists. From all over the world. The guides carry flags to keep their group together, so no one gets lost. School chaperones count each and every student (please stay away from those groups, you don't want a school counselor miscounting his students, even if you are in a bit of a get to...where again? You're in Paris for cryin' out loud...I digress).

And in my rush to get to wherever the heck I thought I was going, I managed to pass by Le Moulin de la Galette, one of one two surving windmills in Montmartre, of approximately a long-gone total of 30, which were orginally run by monks to press grapes, grains, and the famous gypsum on this Butte (plaster of Paris). And in case you're wondering, Le Moulin Rouge is not the other still-standing windmill, it's Moulin du Radet.

I'm not sure where, exactly, my neighbors are from. But they sure know how to throw a party! I don't know if this is a weekly thing, or I just happened upon a certain celebration. But they have been going non-stop since early this morning. If this is weekly, I certainly hope to score an invitation before I leave, because they're having the best time, ever! And the food smells like heaven! I really hope this is weekly. There are so many children there, and their squeals of delight just thrill me!

And I think even the priests are drunk on Saturdays in Paris. Seriously. The church bells have been such a constant, I rarely need to look at my watch. Today is a different story altogether. Bells ringing at 12:20, bells ringing at 2:45, bells ringing at 6:30, bells ringing whenever the heck they feel like ringing the damn bells. It's Saturday! In Paris!

A different day altogether.

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