Friday, November 26, 2010

Friends in Marseilles

When shopping for a camera I found myself in a large electronic gadget store. One of the huge televisions on display featured a gorgeous woman in a bikini shaking the water out of her hair. There were a couple of odd glasses set up on a stand in front of the woman and a man was looking through them watching her. Finally he pulled away with a grin from ear to ear and an enthusiastic comment in French. I looked through the glasses at the bikini woman.

Suddenly she wasn't an image on a television but shaking the water off her hair at me in three dimensions.

Holy cow.

I once heard that the first film ever shown in a theater was that of a train rushing towards the camera. As the film progressed, people fled the theater.

I'm staying at a hostel. Every night I check in for another day and get charged 23 euro.

“Last night I payed 19 Euro.” I say.

“Oh, you did? Let me fix that for you.” And sure enough, I pay only 19 again.

One night the receptionist had to call the boss. On another, the receptionist told me that he can't call the boss right now, so I would pay 19 Euro, and if the boss didn't give permission I would have to pay the remainder of the money the next day.

“Scout's honor.” I said.

Today I saw two more cathedrals. One was on a mountain above the city from where I could see the Chateau D'if, the prison in which Edmond Dante was held in The Count of Monte Cristo.* On one of the walls of the cathedral there were a bunch of paintings of sailboats.

The other cathedral was big. The vaulted ceilings were high. The side chapels could have been churches in their own rights. The floor of the entire building was covered with intricate mosaic patterns.

My friends and I also went to a building that had for the last 300 years been a home to the homeless in one form or another. It was originally built because the royalty of the city at the time decided to jail all those who wouldn't leave on their own. The building was a massive three story rectangle surrounding a great courtyard. The double doors to the many rooms were onto balconies that were open to the courtyard, separated by a low wall supporting arched columns leading to the balcony above.

Taking up the courtyard was another three hundred year old structure with a giant dome and lots of marble and columns on the inside. It had been filled with Greek statues that stood naked of both clothing and limbs.


My camera had run out of batteries early on in the day, so I asked one of the people who I had met in the hostel, David Walker, to take pictures for me. He had a big camera and spoke about things like light and filters. I thought he would be a good choice. He was happy to oblige and asked only that I give credit where credit is due.

In the evening I tried to interview myself next to my boat using a funny voice to ask myself questions which I then answered with my regular voice. The wind was so loud that neither of my voices could really be heard on the video after. My new friends from the hostel helped me make a new video which will hopefully be available for your viewing pleasure soon.

* A very fine novel I gave to Dov for his 12th (14th? Not sure, now that I think about it.) birthday. ~ ed.


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