Continue to be amazed at the long and intricate conversations the French have with me while I am painting. They know my French is extremely limited, and they speak no English, but they will carry on in French anyway. I find it totally charming, truth be told. It gives me a good chance to practice my French. I have to be resourceful with my limited vocabulary. I think I get the main points, at least. Today I had a conversation about painting with a very nice French woman who knew quite a bit about painting from her friend. She complimented me on what French I knew and wished me “bon journey.” Then I had a very long conversation with an older gentleman about the Middle East and American presidents. I couldn’t quite get the points he was making about middle eastern countries, but I did tell him that we have a large Arab population in Detroit. His favorite president was Jimmy Carter; he didn’t care about the poor economic performance of his administration. Bush Jr. is not popular here, but neither is Bill Clinton; they are surprisingly unforgiving about his having had an affair. I mean, considering the many escapades of  French and European presidents! Obama seems to be pretty popular, too. Then a cute younger guy sat down across from me and said good day. He told me I had paint on my face and led me to the bathroom in the park so I could wash up. It was locked, so he found a water fountain. He then took me on a tour of the park, and showed me a few more good places to paint. And he corrected my French. Evidently they don’t use the same word for “beautiful” when it refers to parks, as opposed to when it refers to people. He corrected me very sweetly, I might add. Of course, he then asked me for my phone number, but it was nice, not creepy. I dunno, I just might have coffee with him.

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