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Photoblog – Paris

June 16, 2008

In the fall, I’m taking a class on travel writing. In an attempt to limber up for the class, I’m trying out a little something along the lines of photoblogging. I’m choosing a photo, or a couple of photos, and writing about whatever these bring to mind. That may mean what I was doing while the picture was taken, why I took it, or any number of other things, including fictional accounts describing what’s going on in the picture. I will label the fictional accounts as such. Enjoy!

There I sat, on my last day in Paris, exhausted. I couldn’t walk another step, and I needed at least a couple of hours to rest before I made my last stops of the evening and tromped back to my hotel. I was sprawled in the grass in front of the Louvre, surrounded by tourists and Parisians, playing Scrabble with my boyfriend. All around me, people were having picnics, drinking wine, basking in the sunshine. Row upon row of bushes split the grassy area into smaller, more personal sections. Birds hopped from group to group looking for lunch. At one point I got up and did some cartwheels, which were dutifully caught on film. The idea of doing cartwheels in front of the most famous art museum in the world was a bit intimidating, but I never let that sort of thing stop me when I decide that I want to act like a kid.

Suddenly, in one of those light-bulb moments that sometimes take me by surprise, (especially so in my case, as I was upside down, with one hand in the grass, perilously close to falling at the time) I realized that I was in Paris. I was sitting in the middle of Paris, surrounded by Parisians, playing Scrabble and trying to decide which route would be faster if I wanted to see Victor Hugo’s house before it got dark. It all seemed unreal, even though my aching feet were convinced that it was very, very real. I had my map carefully folded so that I could see only the sections of Paris that I needed. I had learned, with much exasperation, that my map was larger than I was when fully unfolded, and a complicated method of unfolding, refolding, and turning over was required to see only the bits that I needed.

My turn at Scrabble came back around. I looked carefully at my letters, completely unable to do anything useful with the gift of a Z. Every time I have an “I” and a “Z” on my rack at the same time, I start creating fanciful seven-letter words like “Wizards” and I can’t make myself stop, no matter what my letters are. I don’t recall, now, what I finally played, but I got as far as “Won zinc” before I realized it was hopeless and started taking pictures. I wanted to convey a sense of Paris, of leisure, of what life was actually like for me at that moment. I wish I had taken a picture of the two of us with the board, but I took a picture similar to that later, outside Pompidou. I think it was the worst game of scrabble we ever played, as evidenced by the board.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    June 16, 2008 12:30 am

    Paris is the only City I have driven through at 4am and got stuck in a traffic jam! Truly a beautiful place though.


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