DRESSING THE DOG
Chapter 6 (Part One)
“Today, I am going nowhere and everywhere-
and it will all start with a single step.”
– Millie LaRue
Mummy and I were in Paris, France! We only knew a few words but it was enough. Most of the people here spoke English but Mummy insisted on at least TRYING to ask for things in her broken French, although most people would quickly stop her and let her know that they spoke English. Sometimes it was painful to listen to her stammer through a sentence, but I should give her props for at least TRYNG! She really did what she could, bless her little heart. Mummy and Ms. Lopes, our landlady were another story! Neither one of them could understand a word the other one was saying and Ms. Lopes dropped by almost every day to see us, so it was becoming a problem. She was a GEM and Mummy ADORED HER! At first, they communicated through “charades” which was pretty humorous to watch… but quickly, the conversations surpassed “charades” and they needed something better. That was when Mummy thought of GOOGLE TRANSLATE! The two of them would sit on the sofa like two best girlfriends and start typing out what they wanted to say. Mummy took her IPAD and would type her ENGLISH sentence on one side, and the FRENCH translation would magically appear on the other side. Ms. Lopes would laugh and laugh at Mummy’s funny comments and take the IPAD to type in HER response. This would continue, back and forth, until Mummy would tell her that we were headed off for the day and would see her later. Sometimes, the translations didn’t always translate EXACTLY like you knew it was meant to sound. One time Ms. Lopes was commenting to Mummy about all of my little outfits that were stacked on top of the piano in the room. Mummy knew that what she MEANT to say was, “The little dog has more clothes than I do!” But what came out on the IPAD was, “The little bitch has more clothes and I do!” SAY WHAT?!?!?! I had to look twice at that one myself!!! Mummy tried to explain that it is another word for a little girl dog, but never in my LIFE has anyone called me that… so it was a SHOCKER!
Our friend, Ms. Lisa, had arrived from England and we were playing HOST at our apartment in Paris. She would only be here for a few days so that we could go to some of the local flea markets. Paris has a plethora of great flea markets and Mummy was driving herself mad to get to them! Mummy and Ms. Lisa decided straight away to see the mega “Clignancourt” market first thing on Saturday. It required very long ride on the Metro to the outskirts of Paris, and they weren’t EXACTLY sure where it was, but Mummy and Ms. Lisa figured they would just wing it and figure it all out as they went along. We all got off at the proper stop and frankly, I was glad that Mummy was carrying me in a shoulder bag, because all of this changing trains and going up and down staircases seemed very C-O-M-P-L-I-C-A-T-E-D… not something that I was really chomping at the bit to be doing on my little four legs. Nobody in our group spoke any French, well except me… I could say, “bread” and “cheese,” but we were in a situation right now where we needed something MUCH MORE ADVANCED than that!!! As we exited the stairs at the street level of the last stop of the train… and literally, the Metro actually went no further than that… I think it then turned around and headed BACK into Paris from that point, we saw the crowds of people, all headed in one direction, so we just followed everyone else. Lambs to the slaughter. That’s what I was thinking at that moment. Mummy and Ms. Lisa really didn’t have a clue where they were going but MIRACULOUSLY, as we turned a corner, there before us lay the sight of little tents that really looked more like a small CITY than a flea market. We all GASPED! Where to even start??? We just picked an aisle and went with it… I mean, how could you go wrong?
We were only a few minutes down the first aisle when Mummy told Ms. Lisa that she wished she had left me back at the apartment. There was NO WAY that she could put me down on the ground and let me walk, due to the massive crowds… and she was afraid that someone was going to grab me from my bag! SAY WHAAAT?!?!?! So Mummy clutched the shoulder bag next to her body and wrapped my leash that was attached to my harness around her hand so that if anyone tried to get me, they would have to pull her hand off too! By this point, I had sunk down inside the bag and decided to just take a little nap and that way no one would see me anyway. The next sound I heard was a loud GASP from Ms. Lisa and UP POPPED MY HEAD! Oh geez. It was nothing. She had only found a little treasure. It was a precious little antique crystal chandelier… DARLING little thing and she HAD to have it. Mummy reminded her that she had flown over here from England and how was she going to get it back? “No worries,” said Ms. Lisa… she would somehow get it stuffed into her luggage. She paced back and forth trying to decide if she should get it or not and finally decided that she could not LIVE another day without it. The little GEM was hers! We kept up this pace for hours, with Mummy finding 3 little watercolor paintings before announcing that we should stop for lunch! There were lots of authentic little bistros INSIDE of the flea market proper, in addition to the common street food vendors… but we decided that we wanted to sit down inside a bistro. But WHERE… where should we go? We ended up going to the most FAMOUS of the bistros in the entire Clignancourt flea market, but we didn’t realize it at the time!
As we entered the bistro of “Chez Louisette,” we sat down at a long group of tables, with several other diners already seated around us. It was a very crowded place. I was the only little doggie at the table, however, so I was really hoping that this wasn’t going to be a problem. In the United States, I would NEVER have been allowed inside… but in Paris? A waitress came over to take our order, took a glance at me and just shrugged. OK! This was going to work! I just LOVE THIS PLACE!!! Mummy placed her order, and she ordered IN FRENCH TOO, but then changed her mind and ordered a cheese plate and some soup a l’oignon. Just a word of caution here… when you place an order at a restaurant, and order IN FRENCH mind you, and then CHANGE YOUR ORDER, the waitress will give you an “eye roll.” That “eye roll” is UNIVERSAL and means the same thing in EVERY LANGUAGE! Isn’t that funny? I don’t know what Ms. Lisa ordered because I was mainly concentrating on the CHEESE that was sitting soooo close to my bag that I could almost touch it with my paw. If Mummy would just put it ONE INCH closer I could reach out and SNAP IT UP quicker than you could say, “Jiminy Cricket!” There was a cabaret singer named, Manuela at the front of the restaurant who was singing lots of lovely French songs. She saw me in my bag and walked over and sang a few words to me. I was trying to lick her face, in the hopes that she would reward me with a few chunks of cheese or bread…. after-all, those are the only words that I KNOW! Come on… help me out here somebody! Ms. Lisa took a video of this whole thing and Mummy will re-post it here on my website under TRAVELS. See if you can find the video. I ALMOST got a hold of the cheese, but Mummy caught me just before I got it. It’s a sad video so I hope you don’t cry. She did end up giving me a few tiny bites before we headed out for more shopping and she tipped the lovely singer for being so nice to me. We had only been in Paris a few days and we are having the most, lovely time.
So far, all Mummy had to show for the day were three tiny watercolors on paper. She needed a WOW purchase for the trouble it had been to just get here. We all entered a big warehouse where there were individual shops set up, selling everything you can imagine. And there it was! One of the shops was selling antique designer luggage, (IE: Louis Vuitton) that had been converted into coffee tables by making a custom wooden base for each piece. Every one of them was different… and Mummy had to have one. She would need to see another vendor who worked with you on international shipping and then come back to this vendor and it was all so very involved. Then you had to HOPE that you actually RECEIVED the item… not to mention that it was a VERY PRICEY item. She fussed over it for a long time and in the end decided not to get it, but she would regret that decision every day after!
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