has taken me a while to get over the homesickness, frustration over how to
handle life and all of it’s issues; however, I think that I’m over the big
hump. Thanks a lot Mary, for the wonderful coaching.
Saturday was the first day for me to go out and fully explore Paris in
all of it’s beauty. And, as luck would have it, it rained. However, I was
not going to let that bring me down. I donned my coat and umbrella and strided
on our of the Hotel Mecure and to the Arc de Triumph via the Metro. Standing
in front of it, gives the impression that the entire city of Paris was built
to accompany the Arc. Outside of the huge circle, where the Arc lives, is
a driving area where the streets which are perfectly symmetrical, aligned
and beam from the middle like a perfectly cut pizza. I did not go up, because
I knew that I would rather wait until I could see it on a sunny day. Strolling
down the Champs d’Ellises, I bought a French shirt, and some CD’s (One from
my favorite French rapper, MC Solaar. Yes, I have picked up even the music
here.) I then trotted over to the Eiffel Tower, where I decided again to
wait until it was a clear day to visit the top of. I then walked around
aimlessly, trying to get lost and find some more beautiful sights until I
grew tired and headed home.
Here is where the loss of being alone really hit me. I walked into my
hotel room, delighted that I had seen all of these amazing sites, but sad
that I had noone to share it with. I had also been contemplating the relationship
with Terri quite a bit during my walk and I realized what I really wanted. I wanted Terri
walking with me, arm in arm, as we toured the Eiffel Tower. I wanted to
kiss the woman I’m tell everyone about in the “Jewel of Europe”. I wanted
to spend time in one of the world’s most romantic city with “My bandcamp
girl”. However, I had hurt her earlier in the relationship, and the wounds
were still fresh, so there was nothing I could do. After getting on the
phones and talking to my mom and Mary (Thanks girls!), I was reinvigorated
and decided to do something I had never done before. Go to a caberet! Moulin
Rouge already had their last show, so I opted for the one in the brochure,
What threw me for a loop was the number of Asian couples and women that
were there. George told me that he went to Moulin Rouge with his family,
so I figured it wasn’t too raunchy. The experience was somewhat erotic,
but I actually enjoyed the magician the most. Overall, if you’re looking
for an interesting experience, check one out, but it’s not meant as a “peep
show” or anything of the such.
Since I took the last show, the Metro was closed so I had to either walk
home or take a taxi. “It’s Paris! Go walk!”, I told myself. So, I popped
in a CD in my player, and trotted down the Parisian roads at 2AM. That’s
when it hit me:
- I’m in Paris.
- I’ve got friends and family supporting me here.
- The hotel and food is paid for!
- I’m listening to Daft Punk, a great dance band.
- Life is good.
At that point, life looked different. Rather than trying to rush home
because it was 2AM and I was in a foreign city at night, I took my good ol’
time. First, I walked to the Eiffel Tower and saw it at night. (The lights
were off.) Then I moseyed on home, not caring if I was going the right way
sometimes, and many times I wasn’t.
Along the way, I walked by a homeless person sleeping in the doorstop
of a restaurant. Being that I was feeling like I was on top of the world,
I figured that my heart couldn’t go by ignoring that. And the more I walked
away from him, the louder the thoughts in my head got. So, I turned around
and gave him the change in my pocket. I then walked back home some more
and realized that for as good as life has been treating me, about $2 was
not enough of a gift to “pay it forward”. So, after trying to push those
thoughts for a few minutes that I should just keep on walking, I turned around
again and gave him everything I had. This life has been too generous for
me to not give SOMETHING back everywhere I go. I then walked away with a
clear conscience, knowing that he would use that money more preciously than
I arrived near home around 3AM and since I was hungry, I stopped by the
Hippopatamus, a jive open till 5AM. I definitely wasn’t prepared for what
Inside the Hippo, you can tell it’s a busy place. And at 3AM, the line
was long. I waited around, trying to keep myself busy and trying not to
pay too much attention to the punk kids that were occassionally yelling at
each other. However, I couldn’t tell if they were doing so jokingly or not.
(They’re speaking in French.) It wasn’t until an older lady who was behind
me told one of them something and then he went up to her right in her face
and I swear he was cursing her out. The 6′ black bouncer didn’t pay much
mind to them until they started duking it out. At first it was fairly contained
until one of them kicked the other into some of the other tables and shattered
the light fixture. They kept going at it to the point where they threw treys
and glasses at each other. One even tried breaking a glass bottle to hit
another with. Me and the old lady ran to the back of the restaurant, hiding,
but still watching with a curious eye. Well, the bouncer threw them out
and the police came. The manager told us that were waiting in line to leave
because it was closed. Still hungry, but not wanting to completely leave
the action, I went across the street to a windowed area.
Inside, they were playing “Bohemian Rhaposody”. Amused that they were
playing American music, I started mouthing the words, “Scatamoosh! Scatamoosh!
Will you do the Van Damn Go!” I looked around and saw a guy mouthing the
words too. We smiled and I thought it was funny and then sat down. I then
turned around and he made a motion for me to come sit down by him. I figured,
“What the heck.”
I walked over to him and asked, “Tu parle englais?” *shakes his hand*
“A little” So, I sat down and had a really interesting conversation with
him. Apparently, he has been all over the world, Pakistan, US, London, etc
and is a teacher. (A very social one too.) He spoke to me in the English
he knew and I spoke to him in the French I knew. The only thing that bothered
me was that the cautious part of my brain was working overtime. “When will
he stiff me with the bill?” “What if he puts something in my drink?” “How
do I know that he’s not a psycho-killer?” However, I kept giving up those
thoughts so that I could enjoy myself in this new position I found myself
in. After a while, said he was leaving and got up and paid his share of
the bill. I said goodbye and thought to myself, “Wow. That was definitely
So, there you have it folks. Life for me is never boring. Nor will I
allow it to be. It’s too precious. It’s too short. Live it up.