Last Day In Paris

At last, I’m blogging the final chapter of my travel log in Paris. Something I should’ve completed 2 months ago.

The City of Love is also the City of Museums. Paris is a city dressed with too many musรƒยฉes and galeries d’art (that’s museums and art galleries btw).
Most travellers who come to Paris tend to only visit the Louvre and see the Monalisa smile, which is a pity really. Because my smile is so much better.

Kidding of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰
With my two travel buddies away doing their girly stuff (eg. getting French manicure, dressing up as French maids, eating French fries, French kissing French guys), I found some free time of my own on to do my nerdy stuff. And that would include visiting art galleries and museums too atas for my own good.

Palais Garnier, the opera house that inspired smash hit musical The Phantom of The Opera, which was like High School Musical to the people back in its day

I highly recommend anyone going to Paris to get the Paris Museum Pass (€30 or RM150 for 2 days). It’ll save a lot of time queueing up at each attraction to purchase tickets. Also, download Rick Steve’s Audioguides before you go. An audioguide is good thing to have, particularly if you’re as clueless and unsophisticated as I am when it comes to all these artsy-fartsy-schmartsy stuff.

The first stop I made was at Musรƒยฉe Rodin (€6 or RM30), the former residence of 19th century French sculptor Auguste Rodin.
I’ve never even heard of his name before this trip (see I told ya I’m a kampung boy at heart), but I definitely remember seeing some of his artwork. The most famous one being The Thinker.

The Thinker is such an iconic representation of one man’s intense intellectual activity that replicas of this sculpture can be found in museums and universities all over the world.

Sadly, we have no replica of Rodin’s famous sculpture here in Malaysia, but that’s okay because we have our very own “Thinker”.

There are of course a lot other interesting sculptures to see at the Musรƒยฉe Rodin.

This one is called “The Kiss”.

This one is called “The Walking Man”, although I think it should be more appropriately titled as “The Man Who Lost His Head, His Arms And Pants”.

Blow-up dolls back in those days were kinda ugly.

Travelling musicians on the train from Musรƒยฉe Rodin to my next destination.
I really appreciate buskers like them entertaining the everyday commuter. You can never find people like these on the trains in KL because they’ll be classified by the authorities as “nuisance” and probably be detained under ISA.

My next stop was Musรƒยฉe d’Orsay or The Orsay Museum (€8 or RM40).
The Orsay is the next most impressive museum in Paris, after the Louvre. There’s a mind-boggling array of original 19th century French paintings here, including many famous one’s like Stifler’s Mom Whistler’s Mom.

If you are not sure where you’ve seen this painting before, most people will probably remember it from the Mr Bean movie as this.

This museum is one of those places where an audioguide would come in really handy.
There are so many paintings, and so much going on behind each painting that it would’ve been tough to appreciate them properly without some help.

Painters in the 19th century France were a lot like bloggers in the 21st century.
Like bloggers, every piece of their artwork convey subtle messages through the paintbrush. These paintings are exhibited throughout Europe, and people leave comments that can be positive sometimes, but mostly negative.

van Gogh’s painting of his bedroom. My mom would probably say something like “your 7-year-old nephew could paint better than that!

19th century France was a cruel place for painters. The like-minded artists cliqued together, while the unconventional ones that stood out from the rest were ridiculed simply because they were different.

Like Van Gogh, who shot himself with a gun to his death 9 months after painting this self-portrait.
Poor guy had no friends, no money, and his works weren’t even appreciated until the last few years of his life when he became severely deranged.

Before Van Gogh’s time, the typical style of art was “Idealist”.
A lot of artists at the time made money painting Greek goddesses and angels to near perfection. These things sell because they are pretty, and people at the time do not want to accept anything less than pretty.

An example is this piece, titled The Birth of Venus depicting the Greek goddess sleeping on water with her flawless skin, perfect naked body and pretty angels singing in the sky.
It was hailed as one of the great masterpieces during its time, but later people grew to hate it.

In came Edouard Manet, who attracted a lot of controversy when he painted Luncheon On The Grass.
It was controversial not only because it depicted prostitution in an infamous park in Paris, but the nude girl in the picture wasn’t even painted to look pretty! She even had fats showing in her stomach.

Olympia – showing a prostitute waiting for a client

On top of that, Manet seemed to have rushed his painting so much it looked like a sketch, and didn’t even bother to correct or cover up his mistakes.
But prostitution is something that happened rampantly in Paris during that time, although no one dared to talk about it. When these pieces were exhibited, Manet was whacked left right and centre because it was too real, and too different to the near perfect gods and goddesses people were so used to during that time.

Renoir’s Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette

These are “Realist” paintings that challenged the perfectionists’ “Idealism”.
“Realists” depict everyday life as truthfully as they were, even when sometimes when they may be ugly or taboo. At first people rejected them for being anti-mainstream, but eventually as poverty grew and people became disillusioned, they accepted and even admired these artwork because they so accurately showed that the world is not perfect, that people make mistakes, and that these are the realities of life that everyone has to accept – good, bad and ugly.

Maybe that’s the same why some people prefer reading blogs to newspapers, why some people prefer Xiaxue over Dawn, why movies like Crash won an Oscar, and why Raja Petra is more believable than Najib.
Idealism is a fantasy, and when people’s lives become harder, they are finding it increasingly difficult to remain optimistic.
It doesn’t mean all those idealistic things are impossible. It just means that people nowadays are more ready to accept the reality, as ugly as it may be.

I left Paris feeling as if my IQ just increased by 10%. Up from my original 50.
Paris is an absolutely amazingly romantic city. Four days was way too short to experience all that the City of Love has to offer, but it’s time to say Au Revoir!
As short as our trip was, it was enough to make us realise how gorgeous France is. Given the chance, I’m not gonna hesitate exploring the rest of this great country yet again.
Of course, that’s not gonna happen anytime soon.

Because traveling costs money, and I’m a realist!


kennysia.com 3 Sentence Movie Review: Madagascar 2 was cute, but it wasn’t as funny as the first one. In fact, the cinema was pretty much silent about half the time.
The only saving grace in the whole movie: Moto Moto – a name so good you gotta say it twice.

90 Replies to “Last Day In Paris”

  1. second hehehe
    Bonjour Kenny,
    Hi, glad you enjoyed your stay in Paris. You’ve visited more places than I did though I’ve been here for more than a decades and so… Hope you come back again. A bientรƒยดt !

  2. Wow .. all our regular Traffic getting Kenny Freebie Trips around the world. Hmmm .. something doesn’t feel quite right ..

  3. Ha ha someone sounds jealous, but maybe John is right, we should all start blogging our way for freebies, but then again we’ll be too commercial sounding like Kenny. Hats off to Kenny, you’re wonderfully good at self promo Man !

  4. This post is supposed to be a boring one, because who would be interested to know about paintings and museums.
    However, you made most of us read until the last line and it’s a job well-done Kenny ๐Ÿ™‚
    Oh by the way, the only painting I saw before was the one featured in the Bean movie xD

  5. Stifler’s Mom! ROFL!!!! Now that’s hillarious!
    Great post, didn’t know loads of the stuff that you saw in France, makes me hate not going to Europe and study. Stuck in a single continent with wallabies and kangaroos doesn’t make life any more interesting. That’s it, I’ll go there for my Masters XD
    Don’t sweat too much on the travelling fees, I’m sure sponsors will be happy to come and give you an all expense trip any time soon.

  6. oooo, so soon!!! I still wanna read more posts Paris and Dawn (^^). ahahaha, anyway, really hope tat 1 day, I will be able to explore Paris !!!! Really wanna go more after reading your posts(^^)

  7. wah so many ‘tak halal’ paintings lolz..later the close minded ppl come screw you..you do know that you are still living in malaysia where half the population stills thinks ‘communist’ still exist right??i mean then what other reason can they still be using the ISA??lolz

  8. Kenny,
    did you know that I actually started using your blog to do my presentation in various topics? :p thank you for the details! ๐Ÿ˜› do you mind? :p

  9. better still, visit museums in paris on the first sunday of the month.. then it’s FREE!
    well or just say that you’re an architecture/history student and see if they buy it.. then you could get a free entry as well…
    or if you’re under 25/26 (can’t remember the exact age), there’s a discount anyway.

  10. i’ve been to paris 2 years ago and spent 3 days there as well
    but im not really into musuem (whereas in most european countries, there are awful lots of musuems, churches and musuems and churches..oh! and some nice castles)
    so i didnt really see this
    but.. nice introduction!
    should learn more about art before visiting though : D

  11. Kym, it’s not that much of a critical analyses actually. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m just saying what I read in the guidebooks.
    Alex, the only ones happy to get laid with me are the muscly gay dudes at the pubs near the apartment we were staying.
    SunSeT, of course you can use my blog content for anything educational. ๐Ÿ™‚
    No.44444, or he could be deciding whether to eat hamburgers or potato chips for dinner.
    boonsong, yea still using the D40!

  12. Regarding the “Travelling Musicians on the Train”
    The lady with the earplugs probably didn’t appreciate them as much as you~
    Everyone I know seems to love Paris! Your posts make me jealous…

  13. thanks kenny for your travel logs! they are superb!:D
    apart from the places, any blog post on impressive/diff/unique french food?:DD
    FOOD!!!:DD (you see, we are realist too!HAHAHA!):D

  14. hey Kenny, well done for the paris art museums write up! im an art student myself and looking at ur post, its a very imprssive post writing in layman’s language for non-art students viewers to appreciate the arts! The art world needs more such writers to bring the art to the masses.

  15. Saw your picture of the train station and couldn’t help myself! I tilt-shifted the picture and result was great! Borrowed your pic for the experimental project and it’s up on my blog so that I can pass credits to you! Very nice shot!

  16. Where is the one place you MUST visit before you die? When people ask me that question, strangely i never really answered Paris. Which is weird i guess, coming from a girl who’s a hopeless romantic and is in love with love, but i never really longed to go visit the romantic city of Paris.
    Going to India to see the Taj Mahal, yes, i’d love to go. Who wouldnt want to see the beautiful monument built by a King out of love and despair for his dead wife? Whom in the end didn’t even get to see it after the construction was completed. Tragic.
    But now that ive seen your photos of the gorgeous museums of Paris, i’m reconsidering my options ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks kenny.
    (This being my first time commenting in your blog, i wonder if you even read *all* of your 1973458494650 comments per post. Nyeh.)

  17. Awesome post!! Would like to go there before i graduated frm uni. you should come over and visit the states too.. lots of different breathtaking landscapes to indulge on, though not many churches and muzeums la….

  18. Ah, Kenny, hope the head doesn’t hurt like the day we kayaked in 2006, Kuching. For anyone who is interested (especially in ‘Olympia’, but others as well) there is some great art criticism that comes right out of Australia – Robert Hughes. After Paris, try London, or the next time you make it to N. American (sponsors!) New York. In New York, especially the Met, and the Frick. And the Frick was the guy’s house. It’s worth the trip, and you read it here first.

  19. Wow..this is a rare post. an intelligent post ๐Ÿ™‚
    nice one.
    and would you look at that attractive nffnng ad which is so painful to my eyes.

  20. Kenny, you should read Xiaxue’s blog. She photoshopped two of your pics along with another slew of unrelated photos. I think those pics will give you motivation to continue your weight losing efforts ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. Yup Musรƒยฉe d’Orsay is good! i actually love it more than lourve. anyway van gogh was not a realist. he was post-impressionist. he was more interested in depicting his psychology than the real world. lol.

  22. elora, the food we have in Paris were actually quite disappointing. We couldn’t stand the baguettes and the crepes after 2 days and spent RM40 eating Chinese food on the third day.
    michelleho, awesome effect. Would you wanna work with the full resolution of the pic? ๐Ÿ™‚ Lemme know and I’ll e-mail ya.
    Cynthia, well, thankfully the number of comments are manageable enough for me to read and reply. Definitely not 1973458494650 comments per post. hehe.
    urbanwriter, thanks for the tip!
    Chicken at 25 November 2008 10:07 AM, yeah I know right! Next life perhaps.

  23. Great post!luv da pics! ^^
    ur post…is never boring…great as usual…^^
    wish i could travel like u do….goin here n thr..gettin invites to cool functions n places…*jealous*
    sigh..a future teacher like me can neva experience thos….*sob sob* unless of cuz..a super ultra rich fela marry me…den i resign n off i go! travellin! wahaha..*dream dream dream*
    i am sooooo addicted to ur blog kenny! keep up da great work! *muaks*

  24. It’s ok Kenny. Just trying out the photo to see if ‘jadi’ or not.
    But if you have nice ariel views one, please send them over!
    Why not try it yourself? It’s actually very simple to do!

  25. Hi Kenny,
    Would you be interested to present a talk on blogging in January 2009 in Kuching? You’re the best ‘blog figure’ around,so who better to speak on blogging than our very own Kuching boy? Would appreciate it if you could send me a feedback via email.
    And by the way,I’m a huge fan of kennysia.com!

  26. YES KENNY!! even though you look cute now, YOU LOOK HOT THINNER! HAHAHAHA!:)
    go look at xiaxue’s blogpost! hopefully soon enough it will be the real kenny and not photoshopped!(:
    dont worry, you are still THE best blogger!:)

  27. not only are you funny, ur blogs are intellectual… u made me so want to go to paris.. love those drawings and those explaination..(m a noob but now sorta get d idea or idealism and realism!)

  28. YEAH.. Kenny looks so HOT after xia xue remove his layer of *ahemm* fats..so handsome!!!
    you really should go on a diet รฏยผลกรฏยผโ€ฐ

  29. Bonjour Kenny,have u ever thought of coming to Switzerland for a vacation as well?since it’s famous for it’s beautiful sceneries,skiing,n CHOCOLATESSSSSSSSSSS…!!=P if u nid any information,don hestitate to ask…^^

  30. seriously..kenny should print out XX before and after photoshopped pics of him and stick on his room walls as a motivation to keep fit.

  31. kenny!!! have you seen xiaxue’s slimmed down version of you!! i realise she didnt photoshop your facial features, just made you thinner… so actualy hor, i think you are quite handsome underneath!

  32. one of the last one. One of the Nympheas series of Claude Monet. Style – Impressionist.
    I studied that in french lessons. =D

  33. during those times, being fat or tubby was a ‘beatiful’ thing. Those times, people were poor, food was scarce and being fat was a sign of wealth. So at that era, being fat meant that you’re wealthy, ergo, beautiful.
    Today, being fat meant late night snacks, fast food, lack of exercise and cardiovascular diseases – ugly. hahahah.

  34. “Throughout our trip, our travel partner was rushing for her Uni assignment deadlines half the time.
    Some days I’d wake up at 6 for my morning run and that poor girl would still be awake staring at her laptop. Then when I’m ready to go out and do some sightseeing, she’d be in bed fast asleep.”
    Throughout our trip, our travel partner..You know what, we know it was only you and Dawn. Why then there were no single photo of the other person
    as in our “travel partner”?

  35. I truly enjoyed this entry on your art expedition. It’s great to see you appreciating art with an open mind ๐Ÿ™‚ Trip must be expensive but I’m sure you enjoyed every moment, so worth is lah. Happy belated birthday!

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