Dead Centers of Paris

E@L's already muted enthusiasm for life, after having received a double blow of watching a Jodorowsky movie and losing at chess to MM from an unassailable position (twice), took another battering on Friday [oops, wrong timing: it was Wednesday morning, the chess Wednesday evening] when he spoke to his Orthopedic surgeon.

Yes, friends, saith E@L, he has been planning on visiting an Pediatrician Pederastician Pedophilopath foot specialist to get some supporting inserts, but the time before Paris is short and the time for such holistic healing is long... And though the pain will not be brief either, surgery seemed the definitive option. Could E@L get the surgery done ASAP and be up and running (ha ha) in time for long romantic walks through Paris in a mere three weeks? What is the refractory period for this bilateral op?

"No," saith the Orthopedic surgeon. "You'll need to restrict yourself for five weeks or so." Nothing like long walks along the Seine, tossing rats into the 'touille to really fuck up your recovery. "Have the surgery after Paris," he said. You'll always have Paris, and the pain to help remember it by.

This news brought E@L down quite a bit and he hasn't been posting due the psychological trauma of knowing Paris is going to be... difficult.

The stress was barely relieved by a splendid champagne brunch at The Fullerton on Sunday (no E@L did not partake of the famous chocolate fountain) which totally demolished any chances of coherent reading, 'riting or 'rithmatic till about now (maybe even later.) How many champagnes does it take before E@L starts nursing other people's babies? OMG, he must have been sozzled.

Right click for a larger, cuter image.
Photo: Indy


With this threat of limited pedestrianism in Paris, E@L was really on the verge of calling the whole thing off. Then on Monday came the call from Singapore Airlines to confirm (or deny?) the bookings for the trip. Sure E@L was still going to THE wedding in Mondsee, just outside Salzburg, but would he cancel or limit the France leg and change his flight dates? Or would he change to Athens instead? But no, he'd still have to walk around the Plata and climb to the Acropolis, so may as well continue with the Paris idea. Greece, next year.

So he confirmed the flights, and seriously got down to the task of finding a hotel of less than Eu100 per night. And he started thinking seriously about itineries.

So much to see, so little energy. So little enthusiasm, knowing it all going to fucking hurt.

Some hotels suggested by Sav proved to be right at the gates of the Cimetère du Montparnasse, where, it turns out, Sam Beckett is buried! E@L has a slide/photo of Joyce's grave at Fluntern in Zurich, somewhere (though not from my most recent trip - not time). This trip could provide the matching pair.

E@L has no bone to pick with graveyards, he takes the air there quite willingly. And yes, we here at E@L Travel are aware that Père-Lachaise is "the big one" when it comes to celebrity corpses, with Proust and Jim Morrison (and Nancy Cunard - one of Beckett's triste animale trysts!), etc... but why not start right there in Montparnasse?

There are enough dead famous people still hanging around south Paris to make a great (in E@L's opinion) tour for a least one day.

Notables interred at Montparnasse: Samuel Beckett, actor Phillipe Noiret (looks a bit like E@L actually), Henri Poincaré, Man Ray, Saint-Saëns, Susan Sontag, Guy du Maupassant, Jean-Paul Satre, Eugene Ionesco, Marguerite Duras, Emile Durkheim , Dreyfus (THE Drefyus), Julio Cortázar (! - I just blogged about him!), Baudelaire, Simone de Beauvior (next to Satre)...

Day Two could be Père-Lachaise for Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust and Morrison plus a million others like George Perec... Day Three: Montmartre. It never ends: these people just keep dying!

E@L has never been a great traditional "landmarks" person - hey, he lived in Hong Kong for 13 months before he even got to the Peak, for 3 year before he saw the Big Buddha on Lantau. He lived in Singapore for 18 months before visiting Sentosa, its one and only "tourist attraction". Popular shows and events and man-made objects don't usually push E@L's buttons either - never seen Cats, Circus d'Soleil, Phantom Of The Opera, etc...

So this idea is more touristically understated, more high-brow, intellectual and elitist - all key elements to tweak in E@L's perversely anti-populaire psyche-machine. And only slightly less cliché.

Also the queues will be shorter (except for Jim Morrison's grave) and the whole thing much less expensive.

Our mothers give birth astride a grave, the late Mr Beckett was fond of saying, life is the fall from womb to tomb.

Dead right. Momento mori, dude.



Posted by: expat@large on Aug 14, 07 | 2:10 pm | Profile


You know my views...get the surgery and then enjoy Paris when you can walk, at a casual pain free amble from Tower to Cathedral and all the while your camera clicking in the sights.

If you do go, I suggest you visit Invilades and of course The Louvre.

And while I think of it, do you want some evidence of you cuddling said babies? ~grin~

Posted by: Indiana on Aug 14, 07 | 5:11 pm

Is that adorable baby a lovechild between you and Indy?

Posted by: VirginPornStar on Aug 14, 07 | 7:24 pm

I been in HK for over 5 year and still have not made it out to the Big Buddha.

Are you thinking of another child?? Nothing like spacing them out a little.

Posted by: HK-Fool on Aug 14, 07 | 7:54 pm

Not sure whether you're being thievish or very smart with all the quotes and unquoted quotes. Maybe both. This Beckett bugger seems to have been fixated on death as a theme.

What was that about man-made objects and pop culture? Did someone say *cough* Simpsons?

Posted by: knobby on Aug 14, 07 | 8:16 pm

you've got mail...

ok..more mail

Posted by: savannah on Aug 14, 07 | 10:26 pm

Limit the France leg!! Trust Singapore Airlines to rub it in.

Posted by: Dick on Aug 15, 07 | 12:56 am

Sav: rain hail sleet or sunshine, got it.

Dick: leg: sore foot. Yes, ho ho. That's really putting the boot in. I was feeling toey about going in March, etc, etc...

Posted by: expat@large on Aug 15, 07 | 1:09 am

Knob: when in doubt about and E@L post, assume "very smart".

Beckett, death? Ya think?

I'd refer to something from the Simpson's movie, but rumour has it you slept through it.

Posted by: expat@large on Aug 15, 07 | 1:12 am


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