in october of 2007 i spent a week in paris visiting museum collections.  while i did chronicle some of those experiences here, i had the best of intentions for others but never got around to them.

well, i re-read my travel journal the other day and feel the time has come to tell you about the place i stayed during that week.  here is what i recorded about my b&b in paris:

‘marble floors, carved wooden furniture with gilt accents, curly brass fixtures and candelabra, frou-frou knickknacks and figurines.  the whole nine yards.  my room has a very firm, but comfortable, double bed with a frilly white satin bedspread.

‘icing on the cake: the bathroom.  wow, the bathroom.  pink fixtures (tub, sink, toilet, and – i believe? – bidet, plus radiator, vanity and linens), ornate black tile walls, mirrors in elaborate brass frames (about four of them, including one over the tub), countless bottles of cosmetics and lotions.  scented pink toilet paper dispensed in small, individual squares.  interestingly, taps all pretty much require a wrench to turn off completely, as i discovered when i tried the cold tap on the ?bidet out of curiosity – just wanted to see what the water actually did in there!

‘shower is a true engineering marvel, packing maximum inconvenience into a small area.  shower head hangs on a prong at waist level.  endlessly perplexing – does one sit under it or hold it while in use?  shower-head weighs about 3kg, so holding is tiring; the balancing kneel/crouch option is also not ideal.  pressure is so high and holes so tiny that the shower-head is like a water-blaster – tolerable on thickly padded scalp, excruciating on, say, nipples.  tried to soften the spray during first shower by turning the taps way down – resulted in sinusoidal temperature fluctuation between pleasant and antarctic, about once a minute.  an additional problem of the high-pressure head: the shower curtain is quite flimsy, tending to blow inward and stick clammily to the bather, but also does not reach the edges of the tub, so keeping shower spray contained while in holding-the-head mode requires extreme concentration.  finally, a stream of searingly hot water dribbles constantly from the tub spigot exactly where one’s feet are normally positioned.  did get the general hang of this by the end of the week, but the first shower (after the 46-hour trip from nz, lest the importance of this shower be overlooked) was pretty much spent frantically hopping around, and required a large number of the helpfully abundant pink towels for post-shower mopping.’

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