Looking at Paris . . .


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Thread: Looking at Paris . . .

  1. #1

    Looking at Paris . . .

    Looking at Paris in this light I wonder why the French celebrate their national holiday. Parisians vacate their streets and turn it over to roving bands of foreign nationals. Similar to the storming of the prison that the festivities commemorate, these partiers control the boulevards of this capitol in such a way that gives the anarchists pride. Petty crimes of pick pocketing, vandalism and simple assault take the gendarmeries assigned this day away from their primary duties of crowd control.

    Sitting high on the Montmartre, the Sacré-Cœur and its artisans provide cover from this war zone until dusk. Walking the streets becomes hazardous, as inexperienced visitors make enticing targets for bottle rockets, firecrackers and M-80s. Stopping on the streets is as dangerous. One fellow reveler unsuccessfully tried to relieve me of the camera strapped around my neck. Walking at a leisurely pace does not protect as the trajectory of a hand tossed missile is easily timed to this movement. Learning to run at varying speeds, zigzagging along sparsely populated sidewalks and avoiding the subway altogether provide the best means of managing movement around the city. The hill this bright white church was built on can help when gravity becomes the accelerant of choice.

    When I close the door to the room I breathe a sigh of relief. The noise of the celebrations outside dulls, not by the walls of the building, but by the ringing in my ear caused moments earlier by an explosion of a firework sailing past my head.

    I sit on the bed and wait for my wife to come out of the bathroom. "I am never coming back here on Bastille Day!" I tell her.

    "That's what you told me last year in this very hotel," my wife replies. "And the year before that, and the year before that."

  2. #2
    Honoured/Sadly Missed The Backward OX's Avatar
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    I enjoy stories about Paris.

    The person who picks pockets is a pickpocket and the verb form is pickpocketing, no matter what MS Word says.


    gendarmeries = gendarmes



  3. #3
    Here are my comments, for what they're worth. I like the idea of your punchline, but I think you could make the lead up to it a whole lot funnier. One way to do so might be to construct the entire piece as the protagonist's personal nightmare experience before he reaches his hotel room, rather than construct it as a generalized recital of the insanity of Bastille Day. The firecrackers and the zigzagging, for instance, could offer good laughs if laid out from a personal perspective, and in greater comic detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfredjed View Post
    Looking at Paris in this light I wonder why the French celebrate their national holiday. [this light? Not clear from this sentence what you're talking about; and you might want to explicitly identify Bastille Day as the national holiday] Parisians vacate their streets and turn them over to roving bands of foreign nationals. Similar to the storming of the prison that the festivities commemorate, these partiers control the boulevards of this capitol in such a way that gives the anarchists pride. [awkward phrasing] Petty crimes of pickpocketing, vandalism and simple assault divert the gendarmes from their primary duties of crowd control.

    Sitting high on the Montmartre, the Sacré-Cœur and its artisans provide cover from this war zone until dusk. Walking the streets becomes hazardous, as inexperienced visitors make enticing targets for bottle rockets, firecrackers and M-80s. Stopping on the streets is as dangerous. (One fellow reveler unsuccessfully tries to relieve me of the camera strapped around my neck.) [the switch to a personal experience needs to be separated in some manner, I think, and should be in the same tense as the rest of the story] Walking at a leisurely pace does not protect, as the trajectory of a hand tossed missile is easily timed to this movement. Learning to run at varying speeds, zigzagging along sparsely populated sidewalks, and avoiding the subway altogether, offer the best chance of traveling relatively unscathed. The hill this bright white church was built on can help when gravity becomes the accelerant of choice.

    When I finally manage to reach my hotel room, in one piece (more or less), I breathe a sigh of relief. The noise of the celebrations outside dulls, not by the walls of the building, but by the ringing in my ears, caused moments earlier by an exploding firework sailing past my head.

    I sit on the bed and wait for my wife to emerge from the bathroom. "I am never coming back here on Bastille Day!" I tell her.

    My wife replies: "That's what you told me last year, in this very hotel, and the year before that, and the year before that."

  4. #4
    The Brain of Dyadyushka Denis was interested by your history about Paris. He intends to go there if will agree with Dyadyushka Denis.

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