When I arise in the morning in Paris, it is barely past midnight in Chapel Hill. For the most part, this bizarre disarrangement of the normal order of things is manageable, but every so often, something is happening in the United States that really matters to me, and then I must hang about all day until the East Coast pulls itself together and gets up. Today is one of those days. Some time not too long after ten a.m. in Washington, the Supreme Court will announce its decision in the Affordable Care Act case. An enormous amount hangs on the decision of this deeply flawed collection of geezers, but I cannot know what they have decided until some time after four in the afternoon Paris time. You would think that some techie would figure out how to get over this lag, but no. What to do?
Well, I have just read Linda Greenhouse in the NY TIMES [the TIMES helpfully posts the new day's edition shortly after midnight, so that it will be available for me when I arise -- well, all right, not so it will be available for me -- I mean, I know all about post hoc ergo propter hoc and all that, but the effect is the same]. She knows more about the High Court than anyone, and she says they are going to uphold the law. God, I hope she is right.
But there is no use snivelling, so today, Susie and I will pass the long hours before Paris catches up with Washington by going to Giverny to see Monet's famous gardens. This is one of the principal out-of-Paris tourist attractions in the northern part of France, and for Susie, who was a botanist and has been a fanatic gardener all her life, it holds an irresistible appeal. Giverny, the village in which Monet lived and painted, is in the town of Vernon west of Paris, a forty-five minute train ride from Gare St. Lazare. We shall take the 10:20 train, spend the day at Giverny, catch the 4:53 or 5:53 back [depending on when Susie can tear herself away], and log onto the internet shortly thereafter to find out what the Supremes have done.
Not a bad way to spend time while waiting to find out whether disaster has struck.