Documenting the trials and tribulations of Doug Reid and Nancy Procter as they attempt to purchase and renovate a French "fixer-upper" in the foothills of the Pyrenees with new French power tools and a new language.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
On a rainy Sunday morning, Nancy and I went to a flea market in Lavelanet. Due to the miserable wet weather, it was not well attended by customers or vendors. We poked around and each of us, separately found little red books designed to help the tourist in Paris, or a native Parisian, for that matter. The books were printed in 1974 and the other in 1960. They were priced at a euro and the other for 50 centime. As you can see one of them had a double-sided fold-out map. On one side is the tourist attractions and major buildings of Paris. The other side, pictured about three shots down, shows the subway routes.
The inside cover of one has a metro plan for quick reference. I don't imagine that the subway routes and stops have changed much since the books were printed. They are probably still accurate today.
One of the books, the one from 1975, has a list of street names from the recent past and their new names. For instance, the first listing, Rue Albouy is now Rue Lucien-Sampaix. It also gives the number of the arrondissement for easy reference.
The subway map is shown above and is approximately 18x24 inches when unfolded. Not huge but big enough to navigate around Paris in 1960. All sorts of information for the traveller is inside these little books, including and alphabetical list of all the streets in Paris, the locations of "des commissariats de police", addresses of Thomas Cook and American Express offices, hospitals, SNCF stations. In short, everything imaginable in one little book.
But my favorite discovery in the book is the list of churches and synagogues and mosques. Of course the word "religion" can be translated into French as "cultes". Therefore the book lists "Culte Protestant, culte isrealite, culte musulman" and so forth. Thus, the little books, inadvertently, but very succinctly and honestly sum up my feelings about religion.