15 Juillet (Mardi) - I'm a little calmer today, but I'm still very upset and when I get home I intend to write a letter to the mayor demanding the return of the money we spent for these passes with which we are constantly having problems. Last night was not the first time we couldn't get them to work in the métro. Obviously, that will be an exercise in futility, but it will give me the satisfaction of venting my anger.
Rode the 56 to Place de la République where we got the 20 to l'Opéra. Perhaps I should explain that in order to use the passes on the bus, you simply show them to the driver, they don't go into a machine like in the métro. From there we walked over to the Madeleine area, with a short side-trip through the passage leading to the Athénée Théâtre, where musicals are performed, though we've never seen any......yet. Just before the theatre, we found this cool statue of Pegasus and a rider (does anyone know who the rider might be?).
We stopped at a bistro for a café and some people watching, then made our way down to street to the Madeleine. We walked all the way around it, checking out some of the nicer stores in the area, like Hediard and the Maille showroom. Then we walked back to the Opéra area, where we got the 29 to the Bastille.
While waiting for the 69 at Bastille, we noticed the FNAC Bastille store. We walked over and Robb went down to buy the new Carla Bruni CD. We discovered at home that he had bought the wrong one, so we're planning to go to Italie2 tomorrow to get the right one.
Dinner at l'Artiste Café again. We've noticed that every time we go to l'Artiste, the waiters are different. I wonder what the problem might be.
16 Juillet (Mercredi) - In the ongoing saga of Robb and his French bank account, he called someone at the bank, asking about his debit card. Yes, the same card they had already told him to pick-up that he ddin't get. Whoever he spoke to at the bank, told him there was no problem and he could come in and pick it up.....again. I told him should have gotten the name of the person to whom he spoke, but of course, being Robb, he didn't. I also told him it would be another wasted trip. After nearly an hour at the bank, they once again proved me correct and we left without the promised card.
We left the bank and walked along Boulevard Montmartre to Boulevard Poissonnière, which is actually the same street but with a name change after a couple of blocks. This same street,depending on where you are, is also named Boulevard Haussmann, Boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle, Boulevard Saint-Denis and Boulevard Saint-Martin. Together, they make up what is called Les Grandes Boulevards. Okay, if you want to be terribly correct, it also includes from the Place de la République to Place de la Bastille, Boulevard du Temple and Boulevard Beaumarchais.
We saw pretty much all we wanted to see and headed down toward the Bourse, the French Stock Exchange. Just across the street is Le Vaudeville, a bistro that my French friend in Fort Lauderdale says is his favorite restaurant in all of Paris. Naturally, we had to go and have a café and see what was so special about it. As far as we could tell, Le Vaudeville was just another in a long list of restaurants in Paris that are a bit nondescript and totally inter-changeable. But we had our café, then walked down and across the street to get the bus to Place de la République.
The bus was a long time coming, as was the 56 bus at Place de la République. When we finally arrived at Place Léon Blum, there was a 56 bus already sitting there. We walked over to rue de la Roquette for the 61/69 bus, where Robb decided he couldn't wait and took off. I remained and waited quite a while for the bus to arrive, during which time I noticed that the two 56 buses had not yet moved. It occured to me that it must have been some kind of mini-strike by the drivers, because they didn't stop service completely, just slowed it down quite a bit. As friendly and helpful as the French can be (when the mood moves them), they can also be the most annoyingly inconsiderate people on the face of the planet. And I don't mean only to tourists, I mean to everyone, including their own neighbors.
We walked down to Boulevard Voltaire and rue de Charonne for dinner at L'Ingenu. We both had Escalope de Poulet. Which was a slice of chicken breast under a slice of ham under a slab of mozzarella cheese which were placed to form a five-point star over a base of penne pasta in a light tomato-basil sauce. It was so yummy.
Plus à venir, mes amis.