You are here

hostels, Parc de la Villette

I checked out in the morning and walked to a nearby youth hostel, the cheapest and closest listed in my guidebook. There was a crowd at the reception desk, and a sign above the desk saying the hostel was restricted to 25 and under only. Ugh! I think that's the first youth hostel that actually claims such a restriction. If there'd been less of a crowd I might have asked them about it. As it was I went on to the next choice. That also turned out to be full, so they sent me on to a third choice, which I'd omitted partly because I assumed it was too inconveniently located. As it turns out it was quite a bit closer to the metro than I'd realized.

I left some of my things in a locker, and took the metro to Parc de la Villette. Thanks to a lapse of attention, I missed my stop, and ended up walking back a ways to get to the park.

After wandering around the park a while, I got a museum ticket and walked through the math exhibit (including a demonstration of Zeno's paradox featuring Obelix and Dogmatix), then spent the rest of the time until closing in an exhibit about André Franquin. The exhibit was fun. He was very fond of crazy small details, and it was fun to be able to look at his original drawings close up.

After closing I had a dinner of "sandwich grec", fries, and beer across the street, and then went back to the park for their nightly outdoor movie. There were still a couple hours before dark, so I read "Pierrot Mon Ami", which is turning out to be an immensely amusing novel--I should read more Queneau.

Everybody but me had a picnic before the movie, complete with wine and lots of good looking food. It was tempting to look around with a hungry expression and see if someone would take pity on the poor unprepared tourist.

The night's program was actually a collection of short films, on the subject of "le bisou". They were all immensely fun:

  • Quirky silent movie pastiche starring Godard & Karina, about the dangers of dark sunglasses.
  • "Tous les garçons s'appellent Patrick": Two roommates are picked up by the same boy.
  • "Une Histoire d'Eau". Co-directed by Truffaut and Godard. Somewhat hard for me to follow because the story is mostly told in the narration, though I started to pick up more of the language as I went on. One joke I got: were the works of Homer actually written by a different Greek who was also named Homer?
  • "French Lovers": A guy driving around in a car picks up a woman who is waiting for the bus. They don't get along particularly well.
  • "Le Baiser": A couple faces the camera, kisses each other, then faces the camera again. This is repeated many times with different couples. The variety, especially of post-kiss facial expressions, is very funny.
  • "The Interview": The dialog was fairly quiet and informal, and people near me were talking. So I had some trouble following it. But the basic story (claimed "d'après une vrai histoire"): journalist spends a month preparing for meticulously for an interview with Ava Gardner, travels by train and Ferry to London, only to find that she won't even let him in; all she'll do is take a few distracted minutes to answer questions over the intercom while he stands on the street. His best-prepared question is about a picture she doesn't even remember.
  • "Alice et Moi": guy takes his aunt and her two friends someplace. Misses a rendez vous with his girlfriend. The fact that he can only communicate with her by cell phone from the crowded car (with the women commenting on every call) exacerbates an already bad situation. He is dumped.
  • ?: painted animated thing I didn't get the name of. It didn't seem particularly original, and was the only one I wasn't excited about.