Sunday, October 3, 2004

A Package Deal

John Barlow realizes that who we elect President does matter and talks about the package deal we got this last time around:

[barlowfriendz/supporting kerry anyway]: We got pharmaceutical companies designing our health care systems, the prison-industrial complex designing our sentencing schedules, Exxon and Enron designing energy policy, Halliburton and the Carlyle Group and the Center for the New American Century designing foreign policy, Louisiana-Pacific designing forestry policy, and Con-Agra designing agricultural policy. We got the super-rich and multinationals designing tax policy to their personal benefit, creationists designing school curricula, fundamentalists designing scientific research agenda.

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We Walked the Marais

Saturday was a cold and rainy day. Not exactly the best for a walking tour of the city, but that is what we did.

Before we began out trip, we sent a note to Laure who lives in Paris, and she offered to spend some time with us. When we talked to her on the phone, she said that she had set the entire day aside to show us around.

We started with tourist-y stuff -- Sainte Chapelle and the Conceirgerie. And then we got to the good stuff: a walking tour of Le Marais. Even though it was cold and sometimes rainy, Laure seemed undaunted, although she did point out that the weather was cold even for Paris.

Laure knows and likes the Marais well. She took us down narrow alleys with buildings that leaned out over us, leaving only a thin sliver of sky above. Periodically she would stop and turn and say, Look at that building over there, or I like this view a lot.

After a while, we ended up at Place des Vosges, which is one of Laure's favorites. If the weather had been dry, we certainly would have sat there for a while, as there were plenty of benches and the light under the trees had an inviting green hue.

But it was cold and rainy, and sitting on the benches didn't hold much appeal. Instead we stopped for a drink (coffee and hot chocolate à l'ancienne) at a café Laure knows. We sat inside out of the cold and rain. The darkness away from the windows and the timber construction of the place made it seem as if we had been cast back into the middle ages.

We sat there and drank our drinks. We were dry. We were warm. And we were happy.

Trip to France - Day 15

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