More Going Wrong in Paris

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)

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Things Going Wrong in Paris

Excerpt from an old journal (part two from my first day in Paris):

Couldn’t officially check into the hotel when I arrived this morning. Too early, room wasn’t available. But they let me leave my luggage so I could go explore the city.

Started at the Champs-Elysees, went to Notre Dame (the queue to the top was ridonkulous, so I just did a walk-thru of the church), then came back around to the Louvre, then down to Place de la Concorde. My feet were killing me, so I took a break there, sat on a bench, and watched the Eiffel Tower from a distance.

It was gorgeous.

Note: I was almost pick-pocketed twice–once outside Notre Dame and a second time in the Louvre when I was in the room with the Mona Lisa. Each time, I had this funny feeling I was being watched, and when I looked around…yep. I was being watched both times by men who did not appear to be tourists. When I made eye contact with each one, in each situation, he slinked off.

I left after that second incident–not because of the pickpocketing, but because, literally, the bones in my feet felt like they were going to snap. They still hurt now, even as I’m writing this.

Reminder: wear comfier shoes next time you’re in Paris. 🙁 How do I always get this stuff wrong?
I walked along the River Seine, watched the Eiffel Tower sparkling, then came back around to the Champs-Elysees, checked out a plaza with gorgeous Christmas lights and had a cappuccino at a place called Unisex. Then I caught the Franklin D. Roosevelt Metro (yes, that’s the name of the station) over to Concorde, then Commerce and finally back to Alyss-Saphir for a late check-in.

Side note: The shower was nice and hot, but the room is c-c-c-cold. No heater that I can find. Need to figure this out, because I’m bundled up in a bunch of clothes and I’m still freezing.

-Written November 26, 2011
During my first ever trip to Paris

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My First Day in Paris

Excerpt from an old journal (from my first trip to Paris):

My first day in Paris was amazing!

Long day. Fell asleep at 9:00pm, now I’m wide awake at 4:00am. Damn, I’m tired.

Recap: the Metro was a bit intimidating, but it was fine after I figured it out. Basically, I just had to keep a few main stops in mind and remember that the trains go two different directions. I boarded on the wrong side one time.

No biggie, but I couldn’t figure out why everyone started screaming when I jumped off the platform and ran across the tracks.

Haha, j/k. I walked back around. But the track thing did cross my mind. I wonder if anyone has ever done that…

Anyway, so I was trying to get to Notre Dame in the afternoon, and I didn’t know which direction to go as I was coming out of the Metro station. I didn’t even know if I had gotten off on the right stop.

As I was shuffling through the crowd, I saw a man who looked like he worked for the Metro. I asked him, in French, if he spoke English: “Parlez-vous anglais?”

He shook his head.

For some reason, I went super melodramatic on the guy (I don’t know why…it just seemed appropriate). I gave a really long sigh, mouth pouty, and sluggishly turned away. I’ve never done that before to be perfectly honest, but it was very damsel-in-distress.

The man’s eyes softened. He held up his hand and said: “A little. I speak a little English.

“Notre Dame?” I asked, and he pointed to his left.

Guess I didn’t even need English for that, come to think of it.

-Written November 26, 2011
During my first ever trip to Paris

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Sometimes it’s Chocolate Cake

The greatest tempter
Isn’t always lust or hate
Sometimes
It’s chocolate cake
For me
This is especially true
Especially drink
Especially food
Especially all the things that
Taste good

-Written February 2014

Just because something is permissable doesn’t mean it’s beneficial. Even if something is permissable, I must not be mastered by it.

St. Paul (paraphrased)

Desperately Near

When I fall You catch me
Please catch me today
Catch me right now
Before I fade away

I’m sorry I wandered
Sorry I waned
Sorry I faltered and
Failed in this way

But You love me always
This much is clear
This much is true
As You kiss all my tears

Stay with me always
Don’t leave me be
Don’t stay away
Come closer to me

‘Cause I’m desperately wanting
Desperate to hear
Desperate to have You come
Desperately near

-Written April 29, 2014
in Tambo de Mora, Peru