Thursday, March 19, 2015

Day 5 (Sunday)

I was wary before Sunday even began.  We had yet to get everyone up before 10, and that usually involved lots of effort to wake the sleepy kids up.  Church started at 9:30 and involved two different metro trains (not hard, just takes time.)

We got up and managed to get everyone fed and dressed in time and headed out the door.  Between the metro and the church, we passed two men arguing.  I'm still surprised a fist fight didn't erupt.  Thankfully, they were on the other side of the street.

More waiting
We arrived at church fifteen minutes early.  Hooray!  Only, we couldn't find an open door.  And everything looked suspiciously dark for a Mormon building on a Sunday.  More people trickled in over the next little while, each of them visitors like us.  We'd given up and started leaving when a local couple and their baby showed up.  They confirmed our suspicions.  Sunday was Stake Conference for the area.  The meeting was at 10 out near Versailles.  They had forgotten.  We visited briefly with some of the others and headed home.
Still being patient

As we left, I was surprised at how disappointed I was.  I hadn't realized how hungry I was for social connection until I had a brief taste of talking with people who understood both my language and my culture.

We spent most of the day as a day of rest, which was quite needed after Saturday's long trip.  We napped and played games.  We got bored and ate food.  The kids got restless and started bickering.  And so we took them on a walk around the building that holds Napoleon's tomb, L'Hôtel des Invalides.

Proof we showed up
The closer we got to L'Hôtel des Invalides the more people we saw carrying signs and wearing stickers.  We were obviously heading towards a political rally of one sort or another.  We avoided the main area.  Walking with my children in a new place trying to figure out what was going on was an interesting experience.  Political slogans don't make much sense without the implied meaning.

I found Les Invalides interesting.  It has an army museum and used to be a veterans' hospital and still is a home for disabled or elderly veterans.  It has cannons and a ditch/moat (but with grass, not water) and high walls.  Somehow it made war before machines and technology much more imaginable.

We found a small park nearby, but didn't stay long.  We made our way home with somewhat calmer children.  After some vegetable chowder, everyone felt much better.

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