Monday, July 28, 2008

Pique-nique, ultimate frisbee, disco dancing & Le Tour de France

Friday marked the last day of my first French class in Paris. It was a little bittersweet because many of the people I'd come to know in the class had been there with me since the first day, and some were heading back to their respective countries, realistically never to be seen or heard from again. Our teacher organized a picnic after a short tour of the neighborhood around our school. We had decided ahead of time that we'd get the food for the picnic after class, which seriously annoyed the poor young guy at the check-out counter when twelve different people were trying to organize payment for 92Euros of groceries in at least four different languages. Thank goodness I had the foresight to do my shopping separately and paid on my own.

When we got to Paris Plages (the summer beach area in Paris), there weren't any tables left, so we set up shop on a park bench and watched as teenagers with idiots for parents jumped into the toxic river just for kicks. We all loaded up on tabbouleh, chips, salad, hummus, olives, cheese, bread and saucisson. I didn't make it home until after 6pm, which means that our picnic lasted at least four hours. Before everyone left, the Spanish students (there were four and they outnumbered all the other nationalities) made plans to meet up on Saturday night and invited everyone to come for some dancing. The plan, as far as I heard it was to meet at a metro stop at 8pm, then head over to the Fleche d'Or for a live band or DJ. I was stoked because really, we don't go "out" much as far as going to bars or clubs, and from what I hear, lots of Parisians prefer to host parties than get lost in a touristy club where drinks cost as much as a few bottles of wine at the supermarket. Generally, that's the same train of thought I tend to follow, but mostly because I prefer the comfort of being in a controlled environment where I don't have to worry about sometimes creepy strangers trying to grab my butt.

My school.


Paris Plages.


The view from the bridge of Paris Plages.


What Parisians do to cool off in the summer - love it.



Walking around the 19th arrondissement, near school.



Pique-nique.




We ended our Friday with dinner with an old friend from Austin who may or may not be moving back to Paris, and with Ber and Ben who joined us for drinks and the usual witty banter and mindless chatter. On Saturday afternoon, Gui and I met up with friends at Cité International University where I killed myself by participating in a game of Ultimate Frisbee. I wish I had taken pictures because really, folks, seeing me running around catching and launching a frisbee with a bunch of French dudes is a hysterical moment that won't occur often (if ever again). It turned out to be so much fun, though and despite my out-of-shapeness and the immense pain still radiating through my hips, butt and arms, I'm looking forward to the next game (where maybe I'll score more than the awesome three points I scored last time). I just wish I hadn't opted out of phys-ed in high school to do that co-op thing.

Dinner with an old friend on rue de Rivoli.



Really enjoying their frites.


I really enjoyed my fish.


I heart this picture of Gui.

We rested a little after the exhausting game, and then headed out to the Fleche d'Or around 8:40. I was under the impression my old classmates would be hanging out in the bar all night, or at least for most of the night after meeting up at 8pm. Apparently, I was mistaken, and because I failed to be responsible and take the contact number, we hung out at the bar for a little over an hour and decided to give up on tracking them down. I was pissed - at myself for not bringing the number and at the group for not being where they'd told me they'd be. It was a shame, too because the bands we heard were quite good and the place reminded us of an Austin-style venue, with a big outdoor terrace and bar. I'll definitely go back.

We came back home because, frankly, I was upset that the plans fell through and I couldn't be bothered to go to this other party we'd been invited to because I was in such a pissy mood. I decided, now that I had the number, to call and let the group know that I came and missed them and would keep in touch through email, etc. Well, when I called, they said there was a big change of plans because someone showed up an hour late, and they ended up going to another bar and the original plan was to meet at Fleche d'Or at 10pm...wtf? The only possible explanation for my misunderstanding the plan is that they mentioned that part to me in Spanish and I completely disregarded it. Possible and probable. They had pretty much just started their night and were going to grab a bite and then a few drinks before going out for the music. I told them I wasn't sure about going all the way back out there, and truly in my mind I was annoyed and frustrated. But, Gui, being the inhumanly human that he is, convinced me to get over it and go meet up with them like I'd planned to all along. I think he probably regretted his effort to convince me to go back out because the rest of the night pretty much sucked.

We met them for pizza then headed towards the bar, but only five of us ever really made it in. The rest of the group (about five others) were waiting for someone else to show up, and then they decided to pick up some beer to drink before going into the bar, which pissed off the bouncer dude enough to deny them entry. At this point, it was starting to rain, so we stayed in the club for a bit and enjoyed some music from the DJ before Gui and I decided we had enough of the drama and bounced (that's Gui's word, and I'm stealing it for this post). I'm glad I got to see some of them for the last time and I'm really happy to have discovered a rather decent bar/club in Paris, but I still feel like I wasted a little bit of my life going back to meet them a second time. Ah well.

Inside Fleche d'Or - the DJ was meh, but the bands before were really good.


Gui thinking about maybe dancing...


Yep, dancing - like a boxer?



I spent all day Sunday recovering from the murderous pains that erupted throughout my body each time I walked, stood, sat, coughed or breathed. How am I this out of shape?? I walk at least a couple of kilometers a day and I've been known to occasionally break a sweat, so why do I feel like ripping my muscles out of my body after a measly couple of hours of frisbee?? Maybe I'll stretch first next time. Besides loading up on a delicious beans and toast lunch, making a quiche and being an extra couch cushion, I also made it out of the house and down the street to watch the Tour de France ride into Paris. Unfortunately, my memory card ran out of memory just as the riders were making their way in front of me, so I only caught a few seconds of the front of the group. I did manage to catch the yellow jersey, though and a few pics of them riding across the bridge. It was pretty neato even if Gui thought we were joining the beaufs (French rednecks) in watching Le Tour. I never said I wasn't a redneck...

The giant maillot from just outside the sponsor's building.



The riders crossing the bridge.


Apparently, Gui thought it'd be funny to take a picture of the TdF on TV as it lapped the Champs Elysees since I didn't get any photos of my own. :(

Here's the video I did manage to get.

3 comments:

Evolutionary Revolutionary said...

Ouias!!!! Discotech!! I can't wait for that. But someone should teach your schoolmates the rules of pre-drinking. NEVER DO IT IN FRONT OF THE BAR. :P Silly Spanish!

JouJou Loves You said...

OMG....I just stumbled upon your blog through ANOTHER expat blog...and we have a mutual friend...Steven!!! What a small small world, how randomly weird/awesome is that?! I now live in Tunisia......really enjoy reading adventures in Paris!!!!

Kara said...

I really love knowing that there are French rednecks...AND that your French husband uses the phrase "bounce".