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Monday, October 3, 2011


I won't say that Paris has let me down (although it has been a backdrop as I let down myself,) but I will say I had some pretty high expectations for the city (blame Hemmingway). However, it's hard not to lower these expectations when I can smell Chatelet on the RER five minutes before the train arrives, or when I see bums covered in urine, gypsies stealing on the Champs de Mars, and paying six euros for a cup of coffee that has an overhead cost of .45 centimes.

So when I had one of those awesome Parisian moments last Saturday, I thought, "I'll take this as a win."

I woke up at a friends house by Gare de Lyon, after going to a party with three of my girlfriends. It was pretty good time, and I intelligently made my move closer to three am, instead of six, like my other, more courageous, friends. Anyway, around noon, I left my friends house and wandered down the street looking for some caffeine and food. I passed about fifteen restaurants, that were way too expensive. I passed a boulangerie, but they had slim pickings after the lunch rush. I wandered for another half hour, not really minding, because it was about 75, sunny, and absolutely perfect outside. I walked on, and looked up to see a line of paninis resting in the window. "Score!" I thought and walked inside and said hello to the bandana clad worker. After a few minutes of speaking in French, I was pretty sure that he was an anglophone. The accent and correct pronunciation of "cheddar" was a dead giveaway. There was a pause in the exchange, and we looked at eachother, and he asked me "English or American?" Turns out he was American so he made my coffee and we had a little chat. Because Ali was dragging her heals for an hour, I ended up sitting there, eating my lunch, and alternating between reading my book and talking with the guy.

There was no competition, there was no dumbass comments or smirking, there was just two strangers talking about the city they lived in, and the country they came from.

When I finally found Ali, I turned to Lee and said "Nice to meet you," and walked outside into the sunshine.

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