Monday, August 27, 2007

Weekend Wrap

Saturday I met with Terese, Lexi and Anna from Italy to roam for the afternoon. We went to the market at Vanves and then to Chateau Rouge and Canal St. Martin. It was our first day of sunshine in ages and we couldn't stop talking about it. I'm so happy to have met Terese and Lexi because it's nice to have friends. It was quite obvious that Anna didn't like talking to me because she would just glassily smile at me, waiting for me to be done trying to make conversation, and then turn away. She would kind of watch me talk like I was an oddity. Oh well - that's the weirdness of traveling and hanging out with random people. Anna left us that afternoon and left Paris the next morning.

The three of us had dinner at Pointe l'Ephemere. Charlie, Laurent and his Argentinian friend Martin joined us. Then, all of a sudden, Terese was nowhere to be found. Lexi had left for another party. I started to become worried because how does a person like Terese (very responsible, always on time, wears heels every day because 15 years of ballet discipline have inured her to pain) just disappear? Her phone was dead. I actually scanned the water.

I left the bar to call it a night and called Terese from my home phone. I left a message. 3 minutes later, she called back, elated. She'd gotten food poisoning that came on in a sudden rush and she had to rush home to puke but now, "I feel great!!"

I was relieved to say the least. I called Lexi to tell her that Terese was ok and she told me about being chased by two aggressive louts at her metro stop. I told her about my second racial taunt of the day, as I walked along the street alone that night (racial taunts only happen when the other person is part of a group and you are walking alone - there is no other configuration of the scenario). But all three of us were ok, at home and in bed! Le sigh.

The next day we continued our hang-out marathon. Terese and I went to Musee d'Orsay and then to dinner at a restaurant Charlie showed me. The rough and tumble waiter (with a heart of gold) got a kick out of us because we shyly asked him to replace our filthy glass. He said it wasn't dirty. We stammered in French that it was. On my way to the washroom, I found him and the other bar staff holding it up to the light and laughing up a storm. I don't mind being laughed at, he was kind. And the glass was truly filthy. I'm just happy that we didn't get the usual response we get here, which is sniffy anger.

To toast Terese's last night, we went for ridiculously overpriced drinks at Kong, a bar on the top floor of a building next to the Pont Neuf, outfitted with millennial fusion flourish. My terrible Bellini was 13 euros. Again, I didn't mind. How can you? It's Paris! Overpriced, annoying, rude - there's very little that can actually detract from your good time when you're happy to be here and in good company.

We said goodbye on the street and then I biked home. It was a nice ride home - on the bike, you don't get rude incidents.

Au revoir Terese! Bon voyage!


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