Going up the Eiffel tower
means walking up all the way
to the second platform
if you don’t have a ticket beforehand
and want to wait in the shortest line
at the south tier, which still takes an hour.
That is after you stood in line
and went through security
to get onto the square under the tower.
So the line takes an hour at least.
Then it costs 7 Euro per adult, 5 if you’re under 19,
3 under 10. That’s for walking up.
And we had walked all the way from the Louvre.
Through the Tuileries, took a left at the Obelisk
to get over the Seine. The Orangerie museum
looks interesting. We had already seen sculptures
by Germaine Richier and others in the Tuileries park.
I remember a sculpture by her in Bilbao at the art museum.
Would have loved to get a closer look in the Tuileries,
but they don’t let you walk on the grass. Weird sculptures,
not at all like the one in Bilbao. We had of course seen the Venus of Milo
and the winged Nike of Samothrake. No, those aren’t cereals.
And a hermaphrodite, son of Hermes and Aphrodite,
merged with a Nymph by Zeus at her urgent request.
Yes, male and female organs. Many, many Aphrodites,
many clothed, actually. Artemis, Pallas,
and all the men. Marsyas, soon to be flayed.
Not to speak of the paintings. Or the old Egypt stuff,
very well organized, shows daily life, work
and many, many details
from 4000 years ago and so on. Better than in Vienna.
Lots of busts and other stuff from Palmyra,
many other places in Syria. Yemen, too.
A whole room from Palmyra.
Anyway, up on the Eiffel tower.
Thousands of people up there at night.
Very special feeling. We had lunched in the park,
there is a place with benches on a little hill
very close to the tower. Yuhuan started sketching,
Including the lamppost in front of us. Everyone else flew
paper planes and ate and drank what was there
from the small supermarket
around the corner. Lunch at seven thirty or eight.
We came home to the hotel at two o’clock in the morning.
Subway at Bir Hakeim, not very close.
But interesting and working late. Some people get in free.
We are content with smuggling in a small child every time.
People ask for centimes when they’re asking for money.
Very polite, actually. Centimes, from the old currency.
Probably means fifty Euro cents now. I think one was asking for less
when I had my hands full this morning with groceries from the bakery
after getting up before noon. No, you don’t really notice
the permanent state of emergency
more than the propaganda for 2024,
for the Olympics. They made a deal with Los Angeles, right?
One comes first, one four years later.
Whatever. Should really eat something now.

MW August 2017

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