Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

Paris on Bastille Day.

We arrived on the Eurostar at around noon and went from the Gare du Nord into Saint-Denis, which is the sort of place that, when you climb into a taxi at 4:30 in the morning, the driver looks at you and says, "You want to go where?!", an immigrant community consisting mostly of persons of North African descent. It's the sort of place where you'll see more Algeria football shirts than France football shirts, and it's also where our new friends live in their flat full of tiny and beautiful things.

We flopped into the proffered chairs with relief. Our hosts fed us quiche and tomatoes and flat pancakes, along with kir and coffee.

After they left to go on their own holiday, I crept around the flat with my camera, delighting in the surprising symmetry of the overflowing shelves.

I looked up near the spiral staircase to find a little man staring at me, the handiwork of one of the children.

He frightened me so badly I had to run off to the Basilique de Saint-Denis and look through the 12th century stained glass windows for a while to calm myself.

Once I recovered, we went to eat beautiful LeNotre pastries outside the bakery and watch the gendarmerie walking restlessly around their shiny armored vans, smoking cigarettes and looking infinitely bored.

We walked to the base of the Eiffel Tower in the baking late afternoon sun... (I cheated a little with the timeline here, but in my opinion, the structure is a lot more attractive when it's lit up at night.)

...where we met The Queen our Birthday Girl...

...and her boyfriend, who showed us what happens when a Texan tries to impersonate a Frenchman.

Our Queen was briefly molested by passing Brazilians before her lackeys chased them off.

Once darkness fell, it was time to watch tentacle monsters being born in the sky while listening to a medley of Mozart.

Finally, we made our drunken way to the sort of nightclub where the cover charge is 20 Euro for a man and none for a woman and danced for the rest of the night.

Tags: france, happy, paris, photo, travel
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