Thursday, January 20, 2005

ViVi and Squishy do Pere Lachaise

It was just after 4:00 when we arrived to the gates of Pere Lachaise. Not really having a list of tombs we wanted to see, we glanced at a map, decided we go say hi to Jim (come on, you know who I'm talkin' about) and then wander around and take some pictures. I did want to end up at the columbarium to see the two hands that Auntie M posted once, but other than that, no real plan. Oh, and we had about an hour and a half. No pressure!

So we're wandering to the general area of Jim's final place of rest, and a crazy looking guy walked by us. He seemed to be in a bit of a hurry.

"Jeem Mooreesohn? You want to see Jeem Mooreesohn?"

Er, yeah, actually. So we followed him. I'm kind of glad we did, because, while I had a general idea of where Jim was, I'm not sure we would have found him alone. He really is tucked in a corner.

The bust that sat on his grave was stolen about eight years ago. There are also chunks missing from the front of the tomb, where people have chipped away a piece for a momento. Now there are barracades and a guard on duty at all times. And they love this job. (Not.)

Now, here is where we should have dumped the wacky tour guide, but I stuck my foot in it, big time. He asked if we wanted to see some of the other luminaries: Wilde, Moliere, etc.

"Well, I would like to see the columbarium, please."

"Ah! The columbarium! Yes, you want to see the BBQ! OK! Follow me!"

And off he went.

Suddenly I realized we weren't going anywhere near the columbarium. He decided to take us the long way. And while we did see some interesting things, and learn some interesting facts (all of which can be quickly found by looking around google, so I won't bore you with them here), the light was quickly fading.

On the way, we saw Moliere, Oscar Wilde, and this guy:

Victor Noir was shot dead at the age of 22, the day before his wedding. The legend says that rubbing his extra-large groin area brings good orgasms, while rubbing one foot will bring you a child, and rubbing both feet will bring you twins. I rubbed something, but I'm not telling what.

We were finally approaching the columbarium, but the light was really fading fast. We flew through the lower level of the columbarium, stopping to see a few famous names, but we were both getting really antsy.

Finally I said, "Look, do you know where the hands are or not?" He looked a little dumbfounded and just nodded and took us straight there.

So, I finally got my picture:

We emptied our pockets and handed over whatever cash we had (which only totalled about 10€) and lost the guy. We had fifteen minutes before the cemetary closed.

Squishy had a specific photo in mind, and off we went to find it. I did manage to take a few photos as we skulked across the cemetary.

Squishy found her photo, and off we raced to the exit.

We were five minutes too late. We were locked in.

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