Saturday, October 27, 2007

Paris

First time I've visited Paris for purposes other than tourism, and, ironically, the first time I've really enjoyed it. Tourists go to the Louvre and the Sacre Coeur basilica (a rather menacing-looking counter-revolutionary icon) and the Notre Dame. Far better to forget all that rubbish and take dander round the arrondisements (that's French for 'hood'). I have picked up the lingo after one day of these travels, and apparently "au revoir touriste racaille" is shopkeep talk for "have a nice day". Additionally, "un petit peu" means "I do speak English, but why don't you speak French?" I also saw Zizek at the Sorbonne and had prepared a Zhdanovite intervention until I realised that (mais bien sur!) the speech was in French and I hadn't a clue as to 45% of what he was saying. The place was packed, mind you, with mostly young people on the brink of either riots or splendid careers (or both). I skipped a PCF counter-Sarkozy demo to see this, but then I see a few PCFers did as well, if the amount of L'Humanit├ęs circulating among the Rouge and Liberation is any guide. I did illicitly record the Zizek talk (ssshhh), and my recorder has translation software, so I might even squeeze out a transcript. Anyway, I'll be back on Tuesday with some pictures and sticks of rock and things. In the meantime, it's all rather like this: