With our second visit to Paris we savoured both the familiar and unfamiliar on our own terms – and that made all the difference.
I have to admit that our first week back in Paris had more downs than ups – the second visit has been more balanced. I think it’s because we kept stumbling across things rather than mapping places out in advance or sticking to an agenda. Agendas aren’t necessarily evil but often they can neuter spontaneity.
Here are a few spontateous moments we were lucky enough witness this week in Paris:
– the zombie walk at the Pompidou Centre
– the sad faces of the French fans when their team lost the World Rugby final by one point
– the street markets that pop up unexpectedly on a Sunday or Tuesday afternoon
– the patient ticket agent at the SNCF Boutique – who somehow managed to get us from Paris to Avignon (via Lyon – for several hours) on a bank holiday
– the scooter accidents on rue de Seine
– the English dad waling on his obnoxious 13 year old in the Cluny museum
– the unusual St. Jacques Tower (which seemed to rise up out of nowhere like the “special” train exit in a Harry Potter novel)
– the “Great Canadian Pub” (found on the Left Bank near Notre Dame) – yup it has hockey sticks for door handles
Some surprises were less pleasant (but not life threatening):
– none of the museums we wanted to visit were open on a Tuesday
– this Saturday we have to spend 8 hours in Lyon because of a stoopid bank holiday
-my new hair colour (I always wanted to be a 40something goth in Paris
– not all Starbucks’ bathroom doors open easily (don’t ask either the poor Italian girl who was trapped in there for 20 long minutes or the French girl Wade scarred — I mean scared)
No matter what, we will carry our adventures with us – some will make us smile and some will make shutter. That’s life on the road.
Be careful out there. Or as the French say, Faites attention dehors là.