I visited the Fine Arts museum with Michiaki. That took about two hours. Not bad. Lunch, then we found the national bank where Michiaki was able to exchange some old Francs for Euros, then we walked down to Perrache, en route to the theater, where he was able to cash in some of his Franc traveler’s checks at the Thomas Cook exchange office. We bummed around the movie theater for an hour before show time, my companion still somewhat fatigued from jet-lag, having arrived just four days earlier. He joined me for “Signs” which was a very silly, but otherwise pretty good flick. Michiake explained that he understood about two thirds of the French subtitles, while I thought about how the movie represented the American sense of fear based in alienation, a strong theme from “Bowling for Columbine” the day before, and wondering quietly whether this particular fear from alienation was representative of Fear of the Unknown Terror(ists), or simple old-fashioned Fear of the Black Man.
I think too much.
It could just as well be Fear of Technology, but that would be too obvious, after the younger brother goes on this tirade about how this is all just an elaborate hoax perpetrated by thirty year old men who never got to have girlfriends, the Nerds, who are able to orchestrate hoaxes on a more massive scale now thanks to the Internet, simply because they never have anything better to do.
Fear of Microsoft.
And the little girls asks, concerned, “Why couldn’t they have girlfriends?”
Okay, perhaps Signs is a great movie.
Afterwards, I dropped anchor at the Internet cafe I’d found the day before, Caps Lock, just downhill from the hostel, and checked in on my own elaborate hoax, after which I enjoyed a chicken basmati at the Gandhi restaurant a few meters away, across from the Funicular station. Great service. Not horrible prices.
Back at the hostel, laundry took only two hours. I saw that the wash was available in an “eco” version, which, after Hamburg, I carefully avoided. Wash took an hour and a half, and a half hour more to dry. I napped for half-hour intervals, and during one of my “check-if-the-laundry-is-finished-yet” runs I found myself in conversation with a Taiwanese girl, drying her hair in the stairwell. She was considering the Contemporary Art Museum, the Lumiere Museum, and the Musée Urbain Tony Garnier. I discouraged her from the first of those, and was tempted by the latter two, not to mention the companionship, and the savings from another day at the €12 hostel. I decided to sleep on it.