Sunday, May 8, 2011

Getting to the Bottom of Things

The first time I went to Paris with my husband he was insistent that we visit Le Musée des Égouts de Paris. Even though I had been to Paris several times before, I had never heard of this particular museum and thus agreed to go because #1 it was cheap (about 4 euros per person) and #2 there was little or no wait time to get in. Once inside, however, I quickly discovered why it was so cheap and empty: this is an active sewer. The stench was almost unbearable. There is literally CRAP floating by you as you travel along the walkways. Luckily, I had a small vial of perfume in my purse and I rubbed the scent under my nose so I could make it to the exit without vomiting. My husband, an engineer AND a history buff, was fascinated by it all and insisted on reading every single sign posted on the wall. I met back up with him in the museum gift shop which featured (and I swear I am not making this up) postcards with a picture of a rat on the front. I bought several of them and sent them to my in-laws with “wish you were here” written on the back. Of course, the best souvenir of all is free: the stench that stays on your clothes for hours after you’ve left!

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