“Paris II.”

Day Two of Paris: A photo-diary.

The day started, standing at a bar for coffee and croissant. I love the Parisian “standing at bar” concept. It’s food-on-the-go, without actually being fast food.

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I had somewhere to get to – a dreary trip to a computer parts shop (ah, the romance) – but many a street beckoned with whispered offers of exciting, unexpected detours.

“The broken charger can wait,” they said. “You’re in Paris. Electronics be damned.”
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Even Parisian carparks are shitty, dank, unappealing places. (And ridiculously expensive to boot.) The overpowering toilet disinfectant smell and sheer pain of parting with a large sum of money made me slightly hysterical; I ascended the stairs to the ground level as quickly as I could, led by the siren blue of the winter sky and rising spires of St. Sulpice.

(I also exchanged a knowing, sympathetic nod with the descending couple.)
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Say yes to the dress! In this case, it comes with a ballooning neon-green tulle skirt. The bridesmaid mannequin next to her is looking away, unsure. “Girls, shouldn’t we say something to Charlene?”
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Parisians can’t help crossing the street willy-nilly, especially when traffic signages are as permissive and accommodating as this one.

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Lunch took place in a cafe with a liver-spotted mirror and a man in a black fedora. I had a very satisfying open-faced aubergine toast, even though it came with that annoying fancy restaurant dark-sauce-squiggle.

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The Pont des Arts lived up to its name. The wintery chill could do nothing to dampen the ardour of young love, and their enthusiastic, impractical zest for life.

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A curious sight on the side of the bridge – one brown female glove and one furred baby shoe. What could be the story behind this? My thoughts unwittingly wander towards the macabre.

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There on a quiet street corner stood Eve, leaning against the wall, weary of all the blame and guilt and shame.

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She had no idea what she was getting herself into when she requested for the management to install the listening device almost directly in her ear. All day and night, the residents whispered their lives to her. The trivial, the sinful, the mundane, the horrible, the ecstatic. She bore the brunt of their anger, their mediocrity, their lonesomeness, their many many many mistakes. It was becoming too much to bear; her face had frozen into a mask of trepidation and pleading. “Please, I was wrong, I don’t need to know everything, please take the pipe away.”

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This can’t be right. Google translate tells me this bar/bistrot/restaurant is renown for “cooked herbs”. And also, they have butter, eggs, cheese, poultry, game and barbecue. I have difficulty imagining the menu.

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A lady in a cosy, warm apartment gazes down in disbelief at all these people, apparently willingly thronging about outside in the cold.

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The wonderful, wonderful Pompidou. I spotted Einstein on a segway, heading towards the snaking queue of people standing in line, in 3-deg weather, all for modern art.

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At a Rene Magritte retrospective: “Ce n’est pas une foule.”

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There was a Cy Twombly show as well, with blurbs written by the most heroic curators trying to tell people why the dude who made incomprehensible squiggles on canvas is one of the greatest American painters of our time.

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And someone tried to pee on one of the better pieces.

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Eiffel makes its daily report to our alien overlords in the next galaxy.

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My second and final night in Paris ended with laughter, wine, and 1,000 calories. One could hardly wish for any better.

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