While I have enjoyed the freedom of not being obliged to visit 4 museums in one day, or even to “see the sights,” I still want to take advantage of living in the city of light.
That said, things have gotten a lot more expensive in my life recently for two main reasons. First of all, Paris is just darn expensive. Second of all, according to the European Union, I am an old fart.
Paris public museums and monuments are free to residents of the European Union younger than 26 years old, and seeing how I’m now 26, I have to pay my way. Most places don’t even have student-discounted rates. Apparently by 26 years old, you should be done with that whole higher education thing.
Luckily, the city of Paris thinks that everyone should be able to enjoy its many wonderful museums, and so they are made free to the public the first Sunday of every month.
I’ve taken this opportunity to visit some lesser-known museums, including le musée des arts et métiers.
Filled with old timey science apparatuses, cars, planes, construction materials, and communication technologies, this museum is cool.
It also reinforced the notion of how I am no longer “young,” as it had on display items that were younger than I am (like an iPod).
To top it off, I overheard a young child asking his grandpa, “qu’est-ce que c’est grand père? (what is that, grandpa?)” pointing at a certain item of older technology on display in a glass case.
“ah, ça c’est un magnétoscope pour les VHS (ah, that's a VHS player).” But just stating what it was wasn’t enough. The grandpa had to continue to explain how at one point in time, that was how people watched movies at home.
Nevertheless, it was really cool to see old cars as well as old giant computers, and seeing how much technology has changed over the years made me excited for the future, even if I am "old" now.