I went to a lecture on the German philosopher Hegel last night. I don’t know how to make that appear more interesting. He influenced Sartre, plus it was a way to practice my listening French. Now I can sound pretentious in another language! I just have to work the subjectivity of reality into a conversation. Later that night, I went out with two au pairs (one from England, one from Sweden) and a girl from England who moved to Valence with her French boyfriend. So, it wasn’t all intellectual pursuits. Worry not.
Last Wednesday, I used the last of my Toussaint vacation days to go to Lyon. I met another assistant at the
Centre d’histoire de la résistance et de la déportation. As much as I’m interested in the French Resistance and World War II in general, the museum was rather disappointing. There were no actual historical objects, just text on a wall and videos. Plus, the museum had this stark, dark wall image going on that wasn’t very stimulating. I realize you don’t want lots of fanfare to go with your Holocaust videos, but there is a way to be minimalist and respectful while still engaging (the Imperial War Museum in London, for example). However, it was informative, even if it made me aware of what squares in Lyon people were executed in. That made the rest of the visit cheery.
Afterwards, we took the steep hike up the hill to the La Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière. I had been there twice before, once while studying in Vichy and another while in Clermont-Ferrand. But it’s still a stunning building. I didn’t remember this Gold Mary from either of my other two visits. Maybe the Catholics are trying to lure some of those Buddhists with their own giant gold sculptures?
We walked around some of old Lyon, but it was bitterly, bitterly cold and windy. Kind of like the weather today! That giant warm coat I bought when I first got here was such a good investment. I will be living in it for the next few months.
I will be back in Lyon soon for the Ratatat concert on November 28. I’ve been hyping this concert a lot to people so I hope it’s going to be awesome. They’re apparently playing on a boat with some French DJs. I’m very excited. I wish I could type out how awesome the French pronunciation of Ratatat is. It’s so much more melodic than the violent way I say it.
Lyon also makes an adorable cochon (pig) pastry. I felt like if I bought one, I would have to buy them all, so I didn’t. Maybe next payday.
So that’s my brief Lyon trip. Today at work I got my first teacher compliments on my lessons. I’m getting better! Or I was so bad that any improvement warrants recognition. Either way, I’m happy. Not as happy as if I had an armful of marzipan pigs, but that day can be mine for the taking.