Late night thoughts: I don’t care what time it is – there are always 20 people on the street…….
Yep. Walking down Quai d’Orsay towards the knitting class at church – 20 people. Usually though it’s more like 120, say around 7-ish – but tonight after a late supper (after work) around 11PM, there were another 20 people on the sidewalk walking to the train, walking to their cars, or walking down the little village – cashmere coats on, nice shoes, sometimes hats, some with canes, some with packages; doesn’t matter…..they were walkin.” You think everyone is in their own little world and not a care for anyone else until you here a story like this (by Jeanne Feldman). She tells about a handicap man who got on the bus grabbing the center handpole for dear life and looking a little sad, and much of a blank stare in his face. Because he was so much in the MIDDLE of the bus, holding onto that pole, people had to go around him when getting on the bus – it was a bit inconvenient especially so as the bus became more and more crowded. Then one African guy, young and full of it, starting yelling (in French) how rude it was that this guy was standing in the middle and everyone had to go around him and how he was going to kick his ass.” Well, the little man standing at the pole, hugged it even tighter , got even a little more wide eyed as though he were scared out of his wits and all of a sudden the entire bus load of people started moving this maniac guy who was yelling towards the exit door, one passenger talking to him softly and before you knew it, this group of bus riders had “escorted” this guy OFF the bus at the next stop!!!” Someone else put the little wide eyed man in a seat towards the back of the bus and someone else talked to him to calm him down. Unbelievable. And this is not the first time to see and hear of things like this happening in France when a group of people, out of nowhere, get together to either protect someone that needs protecting, or just helping out a couple of clueless tourists. It’s a beautiful thing. I feel so incredibly safe here, walking alone, walking at night, walking with 2 people or walking with 20, or walking with no one. I said to my husband, “If someone doesn’t like PEOPLE all that much, and wants wide open spaces where they never see a soul for maybe – ALL DAY – they need to go to the middle of America. There are not a lot of people walking in mid-america, except, maybe CHICAGO. Yes, there are people at MALLS, but I suppose it’s because we have no real transportation system, so of course you won’t see people walking this much in America. That being said – David and I are in the outskirts – 8 miles north of Paris, but still, there are people constantly out, walking, even in this little village away from the city. It’s one of those things that just hits you in the funniest/weirdest way, because you are so NOT used to seeing so many people at any given time, OUT, on a sidewalk, late at night – ever. That being said, I suppose not being in a car constantly has an awful lot to do with this. It’s really rather nice.
That’s what I was thinking, late at night.
Also, yesterday, I was winked at, as I strolled back to my apartment with a baguette in my hand. He said something French like “Ca VA??” and I thought, well how cool is that…I’m a GRANDMOTHER and still I turn heads…….and then he opened his mouth and smiled a huge toothless smile, and I looked down and just shook my head. “Back in the day, in Paris, when I made my mother walk ahead of me – it was so different. They were ALL so good looking. “ Hmmmmmmmm. Oh well. 🙂