Thursday, July 10, 2003

Paris 2003 – Chapter 4: Musee de Louvre

We visited the Louvre Museum on the second day of our trip. And of course, I had no clue exactly what it was about.
But it turned out, this is the Museum (originally a castle) that held the crown jewels, Painting of Mona Lisa, and the famous statue of Venus.
The place was jam-packed. I mean, filled with people. Tourists from all over the world, touring guides each have their own unique flag. Some use neon-green colored umbrella, and some use the regular orange triangular-shape flag on the pole. I felt I was in an in-door flea market.

“Okay, Wayne, let’s go see Mona”

“Uh, Okay”

The museum is huge… We had no clue where to go. The map on the wall was confusing. There are many different levels and many different entries. (Oh, by the way, we have the all-day pass, therefore, we don’t have to pay for the entrance fee to each individual exhibition)

Finally, my sister spot a little sign with Mona’s picture on it.


“Yeah, let’s go”

The entire time, I took picture of her, and she took picture of me. We took pictures of each other. We were too afraid to ask someone to take picture of us together. We were afraid that our camera might never came back.

Instead of heading straight in to the painting gallery, we decided to go though the gallery of statues first. There were numerous of statues… Of Greek Gods, Heroes, buildings… Lots of naked bodies, heads, body parts, men, women, children, and animals.

Walking though and taking pictures with various white body parts, we noticed a school of living human beings gathering at the center of the hall way to our right.
And there it stood. Venus, the goddess of love – without arms.

Her face was pale and white. Flash of lights shines on her face and her body along with click sounds from the camera.

“Damn, I can’t get though this wall of men!”

“I guess we can’t get to take picture up close with the statue.”

“Oh well, let’s just take picture of her alone. Then I’ll PhotoShop us standing next to her.”

“Good idea.”

After we too the picture, we dashed toward the exit. We wanted to reach the exit before being caught by the pool of tourist.

Then finally, we arrived at the hall of paintings. And I was very awe by it. There are so many beautiful paintings… This is probably one of the largest painting gallery in the world! Absolutely beautiful! Walking down the hall was a treat of its own. I felt like I was Lady Oscar from the Japanese Anime series, Rose of Versailles. So royal and honored, I walk with elegance and grace… Then I passed by a mirror... That is when I really realize how GAY I walk. I almost grossed myself out. I mean, I shouldn’t walk like that while wearing such butch attire. I need a real dress. I mean, the one that Madonna wore when she performed at 1990 MTV music award.

But anyway, this painting caught my attention:

I mean, what is that creature? It looked like a monkey… But not really a monkey. It looks more like a very hairy frog… I had to take a picture of it. I think its adorable. (As you might have noticed. I’m not posting a lot of pictures of the painting that I saw – Well, I feel that pictures don’t do their justice. You gotta go see the real thing, baby!)

And also, my sister and I have seen so many tourist taking pictures with FLASHES on. I mean, what the HEL*?! Didn’t they know that FLASH is not good for paintings?!
There are no signs how so ever, that restrict the use of photography flash. Then, I have came to this conclusion:

“The paints and the statues are fake”

“You think so?”

“Yeah, or else, why would they allow the tourist to use flash? Plus, they didn’t restrict how close we can approach the paintings. Isn’t that dangerous?”

“Hrm, so they must have hidden the real thing.”

“Or sold them on eBay.”


Then we heard a bunch of noise. People talking, Cameras clicking… Food steps… As we get closer to the noise, we noticed people are forming a line. There must be something. Some kind of attraction. Some sort of ride.

“Wayne, its Mona.”

“I think so too.”

Follow the line of people, we arrived at the gathering circle of internal tourists. Mona Lisa, was smiling at them behind a thin glass plate.

“Wayne, wall of men is thicker than the one at Venus.”

“I’m not going in.”

“I know. Let’s just take picture from here.”

Then we took a couple of snaps. I took picture of her standing 3 feet in front of the Mona. She took picture of me frowning and looking all tired 3 feet in front of Mona...

“Wayne, do you know that Mona Lisa is rumored to be a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci.”

“Wow, really. Leonardo in drag!”


Anyway, we left the gallery and headed toward the outdoor. Looking at Palace Louvre from outside was a feast to the eyes. I have never seen such a huge “HOME” for an individual. The King of France who used to live in the palace probably need a bicycle to travel from one room to the other. (But again, he probably had people carrying him) – At the center of the court yard, there stood the glass pyramid, which was part of the renovation that was done years ago for the new museum. (Sorry, I might have mistaken this… I was never good with history)

At lower level, lies the garden area. That was my favorite part. The first thing I noticed, is that the floor is not covered cement. We walked and walked and walked. Trying to reach the center of the garden. And believe me, after hours of walking… Our feet were sore. I felt like I was in the middle of a hiking trip.
The rough surface and the sand really did some massive damage to my Banana Republic leather shoes…

Then, we decided to head back to our hotel. We took enough pictures, and we were damn too tired. We need to rest before we head out again.

Hint: Don’t wear nice dress shoe. My black leather shoes ended up looking like a pair of white tennies.

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