People are fascinating creatures. One of the things I have loved so much about being in Paris are those I've met on ordinary days. So, in the spirit of just being grateful for times when life is calm and embracing the wonderfulness of people, I thought I'd write a blog post just about a day in my life ...
It was going to be 39° so I decided to take myself off early to the biggest flea market in the world (which is not an exaggeration). Of course it may have been more sensible to stay in my apartment with airconditioning but where's the fun in that? The market is just outside the city. I took a taxi there because my silly wheelchair battery is running out of energy after nearly two years of carting my ass all over France. It would never have lasted going there, back, plus hours wandering around alleyways filled with treasures from naked statues of men, sexy chaise lounges and a rocking horse to die for.
The market looks like Diagon Alley from the first Harry Potter movie. Apart from not having witches, magic potions and bats hanging from the ceilings. It's wonderfully comprised of lanes that twist and turn and lead you astray - filled with curiosities that tempt you. The feeling of French history is all around. I had a magical time wandering around looking at everything you can think of. Even a pig on two legs.
I took many photographs and I oohed and I aahed at the marvellous way some vendors displayed their wares. They looked just like living rooms. French piano music, like that you imagine played in royal courts, filtered out of some places and I wanted to live in that seemingly romantic era. Then I remembered all those beheadings and came back to reality with a thud.
I photographed the beautiful entry of one chap's antique shop and stayed talking to him for about 45 minutes. He was very Parisian, 68 years old, loved being French and had travelled all over the world - even to Australia. To my delight he recommended several towns I should visit before I leave Paris. He also told me to return to see him when I'd finished my book. I've said before how writing is a serious career in France.
Speaking of serious - about three hours later I was about to suffer heat stroke. I decided to sit in a 'tabac cafe' and have a drink and just feel French. I also wanted to charge my dying phone, book a taxi and basically take a break from the heat. Mind you, there is nowhere in Paris that seems to have air conditioning. Parisians are melting as I type. There's puddles of humans in neck scarves desperately smoking their last cigarettes all over the place. All the serving staff were sweating and looked bloody hot and I can't believe they kept up their cheerful attitude. The only difference from being inside to outside was that Mr Sunshine stayed out.
The taxi I booked was late to pick me up. Don't you love that on stinking hot days? Fifteen minutes in the hot sun feels like three hours. I was very frustrated because I was boiling. When the taxi company rang me I couldn't hear a bloody thing as I was outside in the Paris noise melting into my own puddle. So I yelled at the person on the phone. Me bad.
When the taxi arrived the driver was same chap who picked me up the other day. I don't think he's stalking me ... I was smart enough to get his private number this time. I'm not stalking him either. However now I can book an accessible taxi personally for those times I need to get to a train station at peak times. Many of the trains I catch to other towns in France leave from Gare de Lyon - nowhere near where I actually live.
I came home and put a wet cold face washer on my head and turned the fan on full blast. Not very attractive but whatever works eh?
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