Sunday, May 16, 2010
Night in Paris
We just finished our Sunday morning breakfast, I ate to my fill, and my 1-yr old son literally ate more than me. He’s 1/7th my size! Do most 1-yr olds eat 4 pancakes and a bowl of oatmeal to start their day? And still look like a bean pole with arms?
I must share some of our experiences from a recent date in Paris. Life abroad is never boring. A movie and dinner... typical, simple, no room for excitement, right?
For starters, we went to see Robin Hood, or Robin Des Bois as it’s called here. We’d seen the posters, we like Russel Crowe, we like Robin Hood, perfect match. We didn’t really think it through though. As the movie started, we were sitting in the middle of a crowded theater, surrounded by 300+ french folk. The opening scene shows the English army attacking and ransacking a country French castle. A little uncomfortable with the obvious defeat of the ancestors of my current neighbors, I shrunk down into my chair and tried to give a disinterested look in hopes of passing myself off as French. Then the movie progressed, and the ‘bad guys’ were made known. It’s a prequal of sorts, so Robin Hood is not yet fighting the rich English, instead he and the others are fighting the vile evil Frenchmen who seek to take over their land but instead fall to the sword like bad henchman from an old Bond movie. Further down in my seat, I couldn’t help but whisper the obvious “awkward!” I mean, can you imagine going to a movie where your ancestors are shown as the evil, incompetent, sputtering foolish villains? Until the Middle-East creates Mollywood, most of you probably won’t get that chance.
Then it was off to dinner. Nothing to report there, we had a great and very nice dinner in Paris.
After dinner, we walked to catch the metro. It was 11pm. We were held up though, as literally 200-300 rollerbladers clogging the street skated by. On the outskirts of the rollerblading mob were police in brightly colored vests skating alongside. Following were a couple of police cars and an ambulance in Tour de France style. But this was no special race. Rather, it’s a weekly event. If my understanding is right... years ago, groups of rollerbladers (someone forgot to tell Parisians that rollerblading stopped being cool in the early 90’s) would flock to the streets of Paris and skate across the city together at night, causing traffic problems and narrowly avoiding arrest. Instead of clamping down on it, the government decided to join along, and created a rollerblading police academy of sorts, expert police bladers who now accompany the 100% legit night rides. Yeah. That’s what we saw.
[*you may want to research this yourself, that’s just what’s in my head based on a magazine article I read sometime ago, and could be partially fabricated]
As the last of the skaters passed, we heard the revving of motorcycle engines and looked across the street to see around 80 motorcycles in formation waiting for their chance to drive up to the steps of the Opera. Whether there for a midnight rally, protest, board meeting, or what, we don’t know. The motorcycles all pulled up honking their little horns and waving their arms. Imagine an American motorcycle gang, except mostly on little hondas, suzukis, and bmws, they’re all thin, no tatoos showing, and under the leather they’re fashionably dressed in scarves and polos and sweaters. A little odd? We thought so.
Ah Paris! Life is always more fun in the city.
An update... breakfast was one hour ago, and I just heard some munching in the kitchen. I walked in to find Sawyer sitting on the floor with an open tupperware, a half-eater cracker in one hand and a cookie in the other. Where does it all go?!