Sunday, Prior to the World Cup

The city was abuzz with excitement over the final game of the World Cup, which would begin at 5:00 that evening.  We got on the metro to meet a colleague of Jason’s for brunch, already enjoying the sight of people with blue-white-red stripes painted on their cheeks and flags tied like capes.

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We met Chloe and her husband Boris outside of a restaurant called B.O.U.L.O.M.

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The restaurant was a buffet of deliciousness.  We were given spots at a communal table and the various stations were pointed out.  The waiter apologetically told us we needed to vacate our seats by 2:30 for the next seating.  Given that it was noon, we resigned ourselves to only having two and a half hours for lunch.  Quelle horreur!

Ribs, paella, mimosa deviled eggs, beef tartare, four different patés, a variety of cheeses and sausages, pain perdu, five salads, three types of smoothies, creamy hot chocolate, a basket full of breads and pastries, and more!  With good food and excellent company, the time passed quickly.

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Chloe is essentially the French equivalent of Jason at Amazon; Boris is a co-founder of a startup that gives people frequent flier miles for online shopping.  They are both sharp, funny, gregarious, and curious and the conversation was free-flowing and easy.  Beyond that, I also enjoyed watching the Frenchisms. From Boris’ rant about how “southern French” is not actually French (“They are pain au chocolate!  Why would you call the chocolatine?!  You are French; speak French!” to Chloe’s expressive shoulder shrugs and cheek puffing, it was just plain fun.

The WC at the restaurant was full for the last part of our meal, so by the time we said our adieus and parted ways, I was standing with legs crossed and had to tell Jason that I could manage to wait through a cab ride, but not a trek up the hill to see Sacre-Coeur.  Ever the gentleman, Jason promptly called an Uber to take us to the Louvre.

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Turns out the day after the national holiday and the day of a major sporting event is the time to go!  It was the least crowded I’ve seen in years.  We didn’t have a ton of time, as we were warned:

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but it was enough to check out their Egyptian collection, a bit of Mesopotamia, and the Greco-Roman marbles.

As we entered the exhibits, a bas-relief caught my eye.  I danced in place, obviously torn, until Jason declared that I needed to take care of my “urinary distress first, art afterwards.”  Sage advice indeed.

Relieved, I returned to the piece:

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Between my studies in Mesopotamian mythology/art for school and Maxine Hanks’ lecture on the history of the feminine divine, I found this piece fascinating.

Equally captivating was the “Bactriane Princesses” in the nearby case:

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Interesting to see Babylonian figures in Elizabethan-like dresses!

I haven’t been to the Louvre in a while, so it was fun to see such marvelous and grand pieces:

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Although the Egyptian collection was underwhelming, at least compared to what we see in the Met, in the British Museum, and (naturally) in Egypt.  I did enjoy

This cat’s clearly cattish attitude:

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This beadwork:

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The gorgeous simplicity of this woman:

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The winged snake (which was long!  I couldn’t get the whole thing into the frame)

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A mummy covering with cutouts:

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We had just a half-hour to say hi to the medieval foundations:

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And briefly admire the classics before being shuffled out with the masses.

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