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March 26, 1994

Today was a bit different, I got the hour-long course I'd pushed for on the theory and practice of urinary incontinence therapy. . . Mercifully not over breakfast or lunch as originally suggested! Then 2 hours of written translation and I was free for the day at 2:20 P.M., with request to be back on duty at 8:00 P.M.

I walked from the hotel across the Pont Alexandre III (via the rue and place François Ier, the latter of which, in a formal way, is quite beautiful), then bypassed the Invalides, down the rue de Varenne, circled round and round St.-Sulpice looking for Aux Charpentiers, eventually finding it on rue Mabillon, but not before having 2 separate conversations with the same pair of guys sitting on a bench on the place St-S. They sent me different ways, we laughed about it, the 2d time they sent me the right way. Bought some books on Romanesque art, and surprisingly, found a comprehensive archeological handbook to St-Bertrand!

Hare Krishnas crossing the Bd. St-Germain brought shopkeepers out of their shops and pedestrians to a near-total halt. Only about 15 of them, not particularly exotic even, a couple, uncharacteristically, looking preoccupied or a bit bored — hardly anything to stare at.

Stopped at a nice very Parisian café in the rue Buci, down the street a bit from the open-air market and right next to a florist with stalls out over the sidewalk. I had a dozen snails and 25 cl of carafe white wine (good, for once). With her mother, rather ill-behaved because bored little girl singing over and over again a tune thru a rolled-up poster. Mozart, Magic Flute — hey, this is Europe, not Chicager.

Gradually chillier day, I walked to Notre Dame past1 a pastry shop and past some of the bouquinistes; ate my one pastry (the others I got for [. . .] who likes his food) in the Square Jean-XXIII. I didn't stay long, but it was a mini-procession of people in pairs taking pictures of each other with the apse of the cathedral behind them; it was rather like being at a model show. Particularly good to see was a pair of Russian men along with all the Germans and Spaniards and Americans.

Just the time to get a subway from St-Michel back to the hotel; within 4 minutes I was back out, semi-work dinner; abortive computer training session followed curtailed by non-arrival of computers; so up to my room, talked to James, news in the usual barrage of languages, and voilà, finito.

Note in the Diary:

1 noting that "past", in the case of a pastry shop, has a rather extended meaning with me!!

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Page updated: 30 Oct 17