12 août 2005

And that will be the end of my tourist week

Yesterday was a lovely day. I had the pleasure of spending the whole morning alone with my niece, and she was a little gem, all helpful, and sweet, and behaved. I could hardly recognise her. And then, of course, we played Uno, and she tried to cheat, but much in the same way that I'm her role-model for swearing, I suspect I could teach her a few things if she wants to cheat unnoticeably. So I caught her, and duly told her how bad it is to cheat, yadda yadda yadda. I don't think I was really convincing. Shame on me.
Then, sandwiches and sweaters and sunglasses and umbrella in backpacks, we set off for La Villette.
So much to see, so little vocabulary to tell it all.

Fantastic. Would require another visit, and then some.
Everything science is tackled, from mechanics to astronomy, sounds and images, the human body for children (farts and bogeys, no holds barred - except for pictures, not allowed)... my niece was all over the place, going here, there and everywhere, and really, if she could have been at several places at once, that would have suited her fine. To be honest, it would have suited us fine, too. Everything looks approachable and understandable, it's all studied under different angles, we're surrounded by sounds and illustrations, explanations and digressions... My brains are still whirling.
It's expensive though if you want to see it all, you have to pay for all the temporary exhibitions, and it can quickly add up to quite a bit. Except most of it's free for under 7s, and my niece turns 7 in two weeks. Lucky, eh?
The bus ride home from La Villette was a hoot. It was über-crowded, most Parisians being back at work now, and my niece was out of control, singing something about an âne (a donkey, but also sounding eerily like my name) and going "caaaaa-fééééééé" in an alien voice, because that's what I'd been saying when the two of us were having breakfast in the morning (I do have some kind of sick influence over her, she's been singing "Aussie Aussie Aussie Oy Oy Oy" since last year's Olympics, I am proud to say), and then the old lady from hell climbed in, and that sobered her right up. The old lady from hell was standing next to me, and my sister and niece got up and offered up their seat, which she declined, saying she'd be stepping down two stops from then. And then the blöde Kuh went on and sat down next to a little black boy, uttering racist clichés, which his mother, funnily enough, didn't appreciate but, understanding that not only was she an old lady from hell, she was also a mean old witch, gave up the fight after one minute, while the old bat went on. She stepped down the bus at our stop, talking to herself but hoping one of us would talk back to her. What I really wanted to do was slap her face, so I abstained from replying. And then, some
(white) cow in a car braked at the amber light, and SPED RIGHT UP. I went, jokingly, "No, darling, you have to choose, either you brake and stop, or you go right on, you can't do both". And that was the old bat's cue. "Yeah, well, can't expect much from them thieves, since they arrived in France..." I kind of screamed then.