Sunday, July 20: Une grande flânerie

This morning I wanted to get out early and go over the route for my Tuesday field trip a second time. The first time I psyched myself out thinking that getting off at a different metro stop would be “better” when in fact it made my destination much harder to find. Lesson learned: Just do it the way everyone else does! The 5th arrondissement is very pleasant and peaceful at 9:30 a.m. on a Sunday. On the side streets you could hear people’s televisions and radios playing softly out their open windows, the window boxes were blooming, and the weather was very mild. I got to the Grand Mosquée quickly, noted the directions in detail, and walked from there to the Arènes de Lutèce. There I was surprised to see the Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris playing 7-a-side soccer. The game looked quasi-official: they were all wearing matching t-shirts and one team had on fluorescent vests to distinguish them from the other. Maybe there is a Sapeurs-Pompiers league and they were scrimmaging?

Leaving the soccer game behind, I smelled fresh baked goods and followed my nose to a boulangerie for a chausson aux pommes–croissant-type pastry dough with applesauce filling, my new favorite pastry. At the boulangerie an American lady was ordering about 6 pastries and 4 cups of coffee. I wondered where she was going to take them, and how, and whether I should tell her that if she’s going to order quantities by holding up fingers she should learn the French way of doing it: thumb first, then fingers–an American “2” is likely to look like a French “3,” not that extra croissants are a bad thing.

I put my pastry in my bag (poor choice; it got crushed and made my wallet a bit greasy) for the metro ride to my next destination, viz. the vicinity of Notre Dame where I was trying to find a souvenir to send my my beloved Daniel. Due to circumstances, I have an unused “Postexport” envelope, which is a prepaid bubble-wrap envelope that you can use to send something under 250g anywhere in the world. I knew what I wanted to send because I saw it before but didn’t buy it on the spot, so I sort of had to wrack my memory to work back to the right souvenir shop. On the way I slid through Notre Dame cathedral thinking I would attend Mass, but it was 11:00 and the next Mass was the international mass at 11:30, which already promised to be packed. I did learn, however, that when a Mass is upcoming the cathedral staff opens a separate entrance for those going to Mass rather than just visiting the cathedral. Pro tip: there is nothing other than fear of divine retribution (or the possibility of spoiling it for everyone) to stop you from using the Mass entrance and then visiting the cathedral instead.

From souvenir-buying and not-Mass-attending, I walked past the Hôtel de Ville (where the FNAC Festival was already sound-checking at noon for an 8 p.m. start time) to the Centre Pompidou and cruised that area a bit. I went completely around my elbow and kept ending up at Arts & Métiers when I was trying to go to the Place de Vosges. Finally I got fed up and took the metro to Bastille partially just to have a chance to sit down. It turned out to be a good choice–or happy accident–because I discovered the big street market that takes place at Bastille on Saturdays (and Thursdays, the Internet tells me). I could have walked out of there with fish, produce, jewelry, scarves, olives, a marinère, pork chops, men’s socks, a new bra, and a fedora. Oh, and some Marseillaise soap.

But I exercised restraint and arrived in the Place de Vosges at last, where gelato was duly ordered and consumed. All due respect to Berthillon ice cream but I go out of my way for Amorino gelato instead. It was a pretty afternoon but some forbidding clouds were piling up. As I walked through the Marais, which was thronging, it started to rain. I stopped into a couple of stores (Lush has been calling my name) but got worried that the skies would really open up. I returned to the Hôtel de Ville, got back on the metro, and was back to home base around the time our students started getting out and about for the afternoon. Talked to Daniel on Skype, worked on my class for tomorrow, answered some email, ate dinner, and soon enough it will be time for bed. Where do the days go?

Click through for pics–I took a few with my phone.

The minaret of the Grande Mosquée

Commemorative plaque for the Arènes de Lutèce. The last sentence says, “Passer-by, in front of this first monument of Paris, consider that the city of the past is also the city of the future and of your hopes.”

Look at this great stairway all fancied up with flowers.

Paris Plages!

The Hôtel de Ville and the FNAC Festival stage

Fountan next to the Centre Pompidou, beloved of French In Action fans

Arts & Métiers metro station is all steampunked-out.

Monument at Place de La Republique
I spent too much time in the metro today–bit tired and not navigating well as a result. But you do get to see a lot that way. Even if “a lot” just means “a lot of metro stations.” 

Sunday, July 13: Un dimanche à Paris

The idea that there isn’t much going on in Paris on Sundays is only partially true. A lot of stores are closed but a lot of museums are open, the metro runs, and some big businesses or popular locations open their doors (although I think they pay some kind of tax penalty for this privilege). For instance, I was surprised to discover that the Orange (mobile phone) store on the Champs-Elysées is open on Sunday afternoon. But they are clearly making money via people who need some kind of service at that time. I happened to be there right at the opening time (1:00 p.m.) and there were at least a dozen people waiting, with more coming in once the doors opened. I like the idea that not everything has to be open 24/7–it makes you plan your life better and act more patient. There may be some truth to the idea that the French embrace their downtime a little too enthusiastically, but I can attest firsthand to Americans’ culpability in not taking downtime seriously enough. We get less vacation time than most other developed nations and then when we get it, we don’t take it! At minimum it makes for an interesting clash of cultures when the 24/7 Americans meet the 35-hour-work-week French.

Since I was in the neighborhood (sort of) I took the recommendation of an esteemed friend and went to the Musée Jacquemart-André this afternoon. This museum seems much less well known than the others I’ve been to–on a rainy Sunday afternoon, the day before Bastille Day, there was no line and it was not bustling with tourists. It is a 19th-century mansion built by a wealthy banker’s son, Edouard André, to house and display his and his wife’s (Nélie Jacquemart–she was a painter herself) art collection. When he died, the house and its collections were left to the Institut de France and it opened as a museum in 1913. It is a beautiful space: elaborate but not overwhelming. And as an 18th-century specialist, I was in heaven. A lot of the art dates to the 18th century and the styling of the house itself–as it is presented now–recalls that era. The special exhibition on display was focused on the fêtes galantes paintings of Watteau, Fragonard, and other artists who participated in that style: a sort of dressed-up version of the pastoral in which elegant people in beautiful clothes have a lovely (and sometimes slightly risqué) time in a fantastical woodland setting. The more paintings I’m exposed to, the more I enjoy looking at paintings because I often encounter familiar themes or people I recognize  Two of the paintings by Nicolas Lancret that I saw today incorporated La Camargo, a celebrity at the time Lancret was painting. Most of the fête galante paintings don’t depict actual people but the idea of an idyllic party in the country, possibly featuring some shenanigans, certainly reflects things I’m familiar with from eighteenth-century culture. And like many places I’ve been recently, it’s worth going just to see the building. The tour includes 3-4 rooms from the Andrés’ private apartments. I always love seeing how people lived “back then,” though I still can’t quite imagine living in such an elaborate space every day–and with corsets on, at that.

At the end of my tour through the museum I decided to have a coffee in the café and read my roman polar for a while (have learned the difference between a polar, which is more like a noir thriller, and a policier, which is just a regular detective novel). It was only a little more expensive than at a regular café and I got to enjoy being seated next to a gentleman of a certain age and his young Swedish girlfriend, speaking English to each other because that was the language they had in common, and him holding her hand the entire time. To his credit he seemed unable to believe his luck, as well he should have been. Across from me were 2 women, one of whom was wearing several thousand dollars’ worth of accessories (Gucci loafers, Birkin bag, and a watch I couldn’t identify because I’m not fancy enough) and who wouldn’t stop being rude to the server. She was like a caricature brought to life; I didn’t think those types existed. Between the coffee (which was very good), the book, and the other patrons I got my money’s worth out of that museum café.

Got a little lost coming out of the museum and walked too far through the 8th arrondissement in search of a metro. I don’t know what it is about the 8th–maybe just lack of exposure–but I usually get turned around when I go there. Finally I found Gare St. Lazare and made my way back in time for dinner and laundry. Tomorrow is Bastille Day; I’m thinking of going out for the parade but it will all depend on the weather. A little blue sky is peeking through right now, but what will tomorrow bring?

Saturday, July 12: I accidentally went to the Musée Cluny

For today I only had about half a plan at most. There were a couple of stores I wanted to go to (and/or go back to from yesterday) and then I thought I might go to the Treasury at Notre Dame or sit in a café and read or go to a park if the weather would ever clear up . . . or just flâner. My first stop was Muji near St. Sulpice, which I’d heard had a good selection of papeterie. I have decided to go back to using a paper calendar instead of my phone calendar so I thought I’d look there for a nice-looking agenda. No luck, but I did get to see St. Sulpice itself and that was new for me. It struck me as imposing and gloomy, both inside and out, but it was interesting to visit. This is the fountain in the Place St-Sulpice facing the church:

Of course since I wasn’t thinking of going anywhere photo-worthy I did not take the Good Camera; today’s photos are all iPhone pics!
From Muji I went to Gibert Jeune which is a huge bookstore in the Latin Quarter. I found a really nice agenda there at a decent price and bought a roman policier called Alex by Pierre Lemaitre. I’m not big on crime novels in English but I figured it would be at about my reading level in French. It came recommended by one of the employees and the author is a Prix Goncourt winner, so hopefully it’ll be good. I’m already almost to the end of Pierre Bergé’s letters to Yves St. Laurent, which are very sad and full of love. Dr. Kirk is reading The Hunchback of Notre Dame but I wanted something popular rather than canonical.
En route to Gibert Jeune I came out of the metro right at the St. Michel fountain. I stayed in the Latin Quarter on my second trip to Paris in 2006 and I remember being amazed that the fountain is just THERE in the middle of the street:
After lunch (sandwich, drink, dessert, coffee: 8,20€ at Brioche Dorée, which we have in the Atlanta airport for crying out loud. I’ve got to raise my standards) I was just wandering around figuring out my next move and I landed in the garden of the Musée Cluny a.k.a. the Musée du Moyen-Age (Museum of the Middle Ages). The Cluny is a 15th-century hôtel particulier (sort of a . . . city mansion?) built next to/on top of a Roman thermal bath. It houses an important collection of medieval artifacts: pieces in ivory, enamel, stained glass, sculptures, armor, household items like combs and pitchers, and tapestries, most significantly the Lady and the Unicorn set. This last was not on display last summer but it is back now:
All the tapestries are fascinating to look at. The longer you look, the more details you see.
The Cluny (Wikipedia says it is officially called the Musée du Moyen-Age now but I like to say “Cluny”) also has some illuminated manuscripts on display. One minor disappointment was that in several places, works had been removed for “reorganization”) and it seemed like most of the things that were missing were manuscripts! Nevertheless, I did see a few neat things:
It’s a letter B, see?

Italic hand . . . I think. Need my History of Print notes.

A calendar from a Book of Hours. The placard explained that 
“The page presented corresponds to the current month.”
I did not take a lot of pictures because the connection between the objects and the space seems especially important in this case. That is, you have to see it for yourself. Half of the experience is being in this hôtel particulier that is sort of big and small at the same time, with painted wood beams on all the ceilings and depressions worn into the steps of all the staircases. A couple of the rooms are in parts of the former baths, so you can see the medieval walls and the even older Roman walls. Those rooms are full of pieces from cathedrals: you have no idea how big the kings’ heads are around the front doors to Notre Dame until you see one up close! One of the last rooms on the tour is the chapel–the building was originally constructed for the abbots of the Order of Cluny–it’s no bigger than a classroom but with an elaborate “stone lace” ceiling and painted altarpiece like in a chapel of a large cathedral. I think I will go back and try to take more photos although I don’t know how successful they’ll be. In any case I’m very glad I went. The joke is that Europeans think 100 miles is a long way, and Americans think 100 years is a long time. It is awe-inspiring to me to stand in a building that is 600+ years old (much older, in places) and see objects that also date back multiple centuries. There were objects on display from the 6th century. You can’t see those things and continue to believe that the medieval period was “the dark ages.”
When I left the museum I discovered that the sun had finally come out after about 8-9 days of clouds. Here are a couple of pictures from a small park behind the museum:
The plants and trees in the little park–Paris has lots of these small parks called “Squares” (they are never square) always named after a person, e.g. “Square Laura Thomason.”

This is the back of the Cluny. You can see how elaborate it is–like a scaled-down castle. 
Really a neat place to visit.
Finished out the day with a visit to Carrefour (grocery store) where I almost bought more than I could carry. But now I have plenty of nice food for tomorrow and Monday. And a detective novel to read!

Thursday, July 10: Musée d’Orsay

Yesterday I accompanied Dr. Wengier and Dr. Mauldin and their classes to the Musée d’Orsay. The d’Orsay is a former train station that was converted in the 80s into a gorgeous museum; it holds a huge Impressionist collection as well as some gorgeous Art Nouveau decorative arts, beautiful sculptures, and some photography. It is just a great atmosphere for viewing works of art: very light and airy, and laid out such that even when it is crowded it does not seem cramped.  I will say that I find it a tiny bit hard to navigate but the mild confusion is worth it to see, e.g., Degas’s La petite danseuse de 14 ans. I’m even coming around, slowly but surely, on the Impressionists. Don’t throw things at me–I know that everyone loves the Impressionists; loving them is practically mandatory. I tend to think about Impressionism or see a reproduction and wonder what all the fuss is about. Then I get in front of one of the actual paintings and I understand it. I even got a new best-loved painting out of this visit, Gustave Caillebotte’s Vue de toits (Effet de neige). The white snow on the roofs is somehow really exciting to see. I actually got a little chill when I looked at it!

The only disappointing thing about the d’Orsay is that it does not allow photography except from a couple of vantage points. So I took a few photos but not as many as I might have liked:

Looking down the main hall from the entry

View back toward the entry from a balcony

This giant clock looks out over the Seine and toward the whole Right Bank.

“Hey, I can see my house from up here!”

Looking across the Seine at the Louvre; also playing with the “Grainy Film” setting on my camera.

And looking back across the Seine at the d’Orsay.

I would have stayed longer at the d’Orsay but I was famished, so I walked a bit till I found a boulangerie called Erik something and ordered a formule (value meal). Formules are your friends if you want a piece of quiche, a drink, and a pastry for 7,50€. The place was hopping but I managed to get a seat and enjoyed the hot quiche–the weather was quite chilly and I wore a sweater and scarf with my trench coat most of the day. Is this July?

In the afternoon I visited Italie 2 (it’s a mall, I’m afraid) and managed to buy some clothes. I’m slowly beginning to grasp the current style for wearing pants here in France. Absolutely no one wears boot-cuts and even the “straight leg” style pants are narrower than what I’m used to. Young people (or older people of particularly rigorous proportions), of course, wear skinnies or leggings and sheer tunic tops are popular. Lots of dress pants are ankle-length, which I simply cannot handle. After considerable trial and error and advice from dressing room attendants I bought a pair of black jean-type pants (more twill than denim) that I like. Plus a few inexpensive tops. Wearing the jeans now and I feel more chic already.

Back at home base it was time for our Thursday night cheese-and-charcuterie buffet. My colleagues and I walked down to the boulangerie to pick everything up, then brought it all back to the dorms for the students to demolish. My only regret is that the salami went really fast and I didn’t get any. Next week I will snag a piece out of one of the boxes on the way back from the pickup.

Wednesday, July 9: Equilibrium restored

We had a rough night last night and a rough day today doing follow-up, debriefing, etc. from the night’s events. I can’t go into detail so I’ll just say that (1) everyone is fine and (2) I work with a great team who are tireless in sacrificing their own needs to make sure that students are safe, taken care of, and getting their needs met. By this afternoon, things were settled down and I was free to do laundry and eat dinner while watching Toute une histoire (daytime talk show in the Dr. Phil vein) on my computer. (I will watch anything in the interest of listening comprehension.)

It is pouring rain again and it is 15C/59F outside. Terrible weather for photography but I did snap an interesting view of the decoration on my building:

It is “Southeast Asia House” and you can see it is decorated accordingly.
I’m eagerly awaiting improved weather so I can get out and take more photos. The forecast for Bastille Day is good and I do know where to stand to get a good view of the flyover. But for now I’m going to crawl into bed. It’s good sleeping weather for sure. Tomorrow I go with 2 professors on their field trip to the Musée d’Orsay. I was a little “museumed out” when I went last year so I’ll be happy to see it again while fresh. First museum visit this year!

Tuesday, July 8: Le Rouge et le Noir et le Pizza

Today was my World Lit. I class’s first field trip. We went to the Bibliothèque Nationale-Richelieu to see Greek vases from the collection of the duc de Luynes and the other objects in the permanent collection on display as the “Museum of Medals, Coins, and Antiques”–about four rooms full of cameos, medals, coins, vases, figurines, and other good stuff. The Richelieu site is worth visiting just to see the building, as it is rather grand. We were disappointed that we could not go into the Salle Ovale but you have to have a reader’s card (which costs money) and they do not allow photos. Nor would they have looked kindly on a dozen Americans trooping through, gawking, and chatting. We’ve been working with the students on their “Paris voices.” It’s true, I’m afraid, that Americans are loud–especially young American women with higher-pitched voices that carry farther. I have all of a sudden discovered a lower register of my voice to use; it’s very handy!

We ended up being very early to the BNF; I was worried about being late and the reservation confirmation sounded very strict about the need to show up 15 minutes early. In the event, we were about 25 minutes early and the exhibit did not open till 1:00 p.m., which was our assigned time. On the up side, however, we did not have to pay. Ancient artifacts: good. Free access to same: even better! I asked the students to find a Greek vase that depicted something they recognized from mythology, a question to answer via research, and another object that they thought was interesting. I found a few bits of recognizable mythology, a question that I got answered on the spot, and LOTS of interesting things, all of which you can see after the jump.

Poseidon (spear + fish)

Zeus (thunderbolt)

Odysseus questioning the spirit of Tiresias in the underworld 
(okay, I had to read the card to figure this one out)

My question was: why are the vases red and black? The answer was on this placard:

In short: the clay is red; the glaze is black. Black figures are painted on; red figures are left unpainted against a black background. White highlights are also used. The bottom of the placard explains what the different shapes were used for.
Here are the interesting things I found:
A cameo ring depicting Oliver Cromwell

An Egyptian scarab. The card explains that the ancient Egyptians saw the scarab beetle as a symbol of rebirth because they thought it died and was reborn from its own remains.

When we left the BNF, we crossed the street to the “Galerie Vivienne,” one of the arcade-style shopping passages of which Paris has several. This one contained a couple of used-book sellers, one of which was closed but had crates of bargain-priced books outside the store with signs posted:
1 livre = 2€
3 livres = 5€
6 livres = 10€
En cas d’absence, faites glisser l’argent 
au-dessous de la porte.
Dear readers, I found a single 18mo volume from a 4-volume set of De Imitatione Christi, dated 1789, in one of the crates. Tiny, tiny hand-set type on pale blue rag paper in a very worn leather binding. Never have I been happier to try to make a 2€ coin slide under a door.
Flush with triumph I went back to the Bourse metro stop where a small street market was set up, and ate a brick for the first time. Through some linguisto-gastronomic transformation, Moroccans in France are using an English word to designate an Arab pastry: a folded square of something like phyllo containing chicken or cheese or what have you. The one I got contained chèvre, tomato, and basil, and it was delicious! I ate it under the overhang of the Agence France Presse building across the street because by the time I paid for it, the sprinkle of rain had become a downpour. Made a dash into the metro, walked to Carrefour Market in a moderate shower, exited into no rain at all. Got cocky and stopped at Marionnaud to see what was soldé only to find it was pouring again when I left. I came home with the wettest feet in Paris, I swear.
The final challenge for today was our first official Pizza Night: this year on the program we have pizza one night a week and charcuterie one night a week. As Pizza Team Leader I had several excellent assistants and we got 25 pizzas served and cleaned up in 2 different houses in under an hour. I will never understand, however, why students prefer plain cheese pizza to all the crazy stuff you can get on pizza in France. Bring on the shrimp, fried egg, and capers!
To quote Samuel Pepys: And so to bed.

Sunday, July 6: Rainy Sunday

It was rainy and blustery until perhaps an hour ago but I can’t complain too much. The weather was a good incentive to stay in my room and get some administrative work done. My students’ discussion posts needed grading, my email was building up, 2 meetings required agendas, and most importantly I needed to get a handle on my “official” phone. Dr. Guglielmi bought me an inexpensive phone (this one) to use during the program and it had me flummoxed. At length I got it sorted out although I still can’t text on the dang thing.
With my phone in working order I set out to scout the route for Tuesday’s field trip. We are going to see a collection of Greek vases at the Musée des Medailles, Monnaie, et Antiques, which is at the “Richelieu” site of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The Richelieu site is the original BNF site, if my memory serves; they have since outgrown it (not hard as the BNF is France’s national book depository, like our Library of Congress) and moved into the “François Mitterand” site that we got to tour last year. I am excited about this field trip as I think there will be lots of good stuff to see beyond the Greek vase collection. It is easy to get to from here and it’s across from a passage with some appealing antique book stores. I know where I’ll be going once I dismiss the students from the field trip.
Tomorrow we have our weekly faculty meeting and the first of our weekly program meetings, so once I got back from my recon mission I met up with Dr. Kirk to go over the agendas. We met in the café/restaurant down the street called Paris Orléans (Vicki, Samantha, and I had lunch there last year) where I had a “Parisienne” salad that turned out to be mixed greens with whole slices of ham and Swiss cheese laid on top, plus tomato slices, hard-boiled egg, and cornichons off to the side. All served on a flat plate that was very difficult to navigate. Note to Paris Orleans: Salad is served in a bowl for a reason. Despite my baffling lunch it was a very nice meeting and we got everything squared away for tomorrow.

On my return I did the work that the meeting had generated and then talked to my beloved Daniel on Skype. We went through the mail that had come for me since I’ve been gone, so I can say I’ve done admin tasks on both sides of the Atlantic today. Finally I had done all the finagling that I could, and cabin fever was setting in, so I took a walk back down by Porte d’Orléans. Passed a boulangerie/patisserie on the return trip where I bought a small baguette and some Tunisian sweets called something like “mokhoub.” [Update: It’s “mokrouth”! Here is a recipe.] This place is 2/3 traditional French items, 1/3 Middle Eastern goodies so I went for something unfamiliar. Next time I will get one of the small lemon tarts that have “CITRON” written on them in chocolate drizzle. In case you are offered one and want to know what it is? I ate several mokhoub with my dinner while watching episodes of Un Gars, Une Fille, and the sun finally came out so I took some pictures of the view out my window. The construction site is not very appealing, I will admit, but it’s better than facing onto the street because construction stops at night and traffic does not.

La Canicule

There is such a thing as vocabulary you wish you didn’t have to learn, or at least vocabulary you wish did not apply to you. Today’s undesirable word is canicule: heat wave. As in Paris est en plain canicule et les étudiants fondent. (Paris is in the middle of a heat wave and students are melting.) Les profs are melting too! I heard the heat index was 40°C today–just Googled the conversion and that’s 104° Fahrenheit. This in a largely un-air-conditioned nation! Whew. No wonder we are all drinking tons of water and taking 2-3 showers per day. Of course, life does not stop for la canicule. We still ride the train, go to classes, and take excursions. We just don’t smell good doing it.

This type of weather is not unheard-of in France but it is not typical either. There was a prolonged heat wave in 2003 or 2004 that resulted in several fatalities; since then the government has been more careful about issuing warnings, checking on the elderly, etc. when the temperature rises above a certain level. This year, winter was long and cold, spring was chilly, and summer was slow to arrive–our first week here we were happy to have sweaters in the mornings at least. There was some mirth in the press when the government rolled out its annual Heat Wave Plan for the summer at a time when it wasn’t even warm yet. But clearly the powers that be knew what they were doing.
Before you ask, let me go back to the “no A/C” issue. The French are many things but they are not masochists. They enjoy comfort, but they are also very energy-conscious, as seen in la minuterie, automatic lights on timers in corridors: as I understand it these were installed as an energy-saving measure after WWII (7 decades ago) but are still in use, and not just in really old buildings. Most of the time, air conditioning is not necessary here. It would cost a lot to install and operate–I can’t imagine trying to retrofit hundreds of Paris apartment buildings with A/C, nor do I want to see the Hausmann buildings bristling with window units. Some people even say that relying too much on A/C is unhealthy, that we’re better off adjusting our lifestyles a bit and letting our bodies adapt. After sunset, I agree with those people, although I also know people whose bodies react very badly to the heat. I don’t want to suggest that everyone should just toughen up–we are all different and have different sensitivities.
I admire the minimal approach to air conditioning in France because so many public spaces in the American South are overly air-conditioned. We all carry cardigans into restaurants; otherwise you order a flambé dessert just to have a chance to warm up a little. Going to a movie? Better put on warm socks and a hoodie. (I’m not joking.) This heat is not comfortable, but it is livable. If there were A/C here at Cité we’d never leave our rooms. This way, we might as well get out and at least lie under a tree in a park. Or eat some gelato as I did earlier today.