Excerpt from an old journal (about my first trip to Paris):
It’s 4am here, and I can’t sleep because, you know, jet lag.
Went outside to smoke just now (in front of the hotel), and some dude pulled up on a motorcycle and asked for a cigarette.
As soon as I passed it to him, I had instant regret. He didn’t do anything, but I had the distinct feeling he had been planning to. He was tense, and he glanced around like he was checking to see if anyone was around.
Thankfully, the hotel concierge came to the window. The dude on the motorcycle saw him and drove away.
So..I might’ve just averted a mugging. Freaky.
Oh, man, and two French guys came stumbling up the street. They seemed drunk, and their faces were covered in blood! Looked they got in a fight over a girl. At least, that was my guess because a pretty girl was following one of the guys, trying to help him. He was growling and kept shrugging her off.
The other guy tried to follow, but an older man held him back and directed him the other way.
I just stood there and smoked my cigarette as all of this was going on. Wonder how safe this area is. I’m in the 15th, which is really close to the Eiffel Tower, but I don’t know. I’ve just seen some crazy stuff tonight.
Side note: Today I plan to go up to the Eiffel Tower. I have directions, from Danik about how to ask for the correct ticket. He wrote down how to say “all the way to the top” in French and told me what queue to stand in. Need to find that piece of paper.
After Tour Eiffel, I might try to find the cafe where Amelie was filmed. What was it called again? Need to look it up.
Fave part of my trip (so far): wandering around after the Louvre and people-watching in Place de la Concorde.
Least fave: It’s a toss up between almost getting pickpocketed (twice), almost getting mugged/jumped/whatever Motorcycle Dude was planning, seeing two bloody drunk guys yelling at each other in French, or my horribly achy feet that feel like they’re going to crumble.
-Written November 26, 2011
(During my very first trip to Paris)