Unaware Over There

Trip to ParisI’ve been back from Paris since last Wednesday night, but I spent the first two or three days battling a jet-lag-fueled exhaustion so acute it hurt. It gripped my spine, shoulder blades and neck in the same way that I histrionically and baselessly imagine the bends must treat its victims. Not fun. I’m closer to normalcy now, but I’m still waking up very early in the morning and going to bed very early in the evening, which I admit isn’t unpleasant.

Until yesterday, I was in no shape to blog, but I’m not sure I had all that much to say about Paris anyway. That is, apart from the obvious, which is that it completely justifies its reputation for being redolently gorgeous and romantic, at once historically overwhelming and inspiring… if you conveniently ignore the civil riots taking place at the edge of the city.

Missing the Clue Train

Having little command of French, having not actively sought out English-language news, and having spent not even fifteen minutes online while there, Joy and I were more or less oblivious to what was going on in the eastern suburbs, where a tragic social frustration was boiling over as we toured, shopped and ate like kings. I’m embarrassed to say it.

With that in mind, I have this to submit humbly: a Flickr set of our obliviousness. These are the fifty-four best of the 450 or so shots that I took on this trip — lately, I’ve been really getting into my nearly year-old Nikon D70.

Right: Walk this way. My favorite shot from our trip to Paris.
Paris Street
  1. I want so very badly to visit another country. I’ve long considered Paris one of the top options, but this confirms it.

    Also, the French riots are sad. I don’t see how destroying things is a good way to make a point. But then, I’m not in their situation, so I don’t know if there’s another viable way…

  2. You and Joy were blessed, bruh, to get in and out unscathed. Your flickr set is right on time. It’s amazing how “life goes on”, even though it’s real in the battlefield just around the corner. Glad you two are safe. Be easy, bruh.

  3. I’m jealous – it’s been a few years since I was last Over There and I’m long overdue for a return visit. Did you check out Le Centre Pompidou? It was the last gallery we went to in a long string of galleries when I was there, but it easily was my favourite.

    Don’t kick yourself too hard about the riots. If you had known, what could you have done differently?

  4. (Sarcasticaly-)funny, reading your post while Im currently watching a tv show about the social troubles & civil riots in our country.

  5. Yes funny to read comments from France. Riots seem to have a great international cover. But it’s like more an urban gang / police game than a new mai 68… Hope it’ll be a short game.

  6. Beautiful pictures – thanks for sharing. Makes me also want to venture back to France.

    Ive been thinking about the D70 as well, but havent gotten over my fear of not wanting to tote around an SLR… wish I could just bite the bullet!

  7. Sorry to hear about the jet lag problems. Sounds like part stress and release also. I hope you are easing back into things and getting well adjusted on this end.

    I have found Vitamin Water’s Revive to work quite well in jet lag repair and for short night’s sleep. I also use focus when traveling if am traveling for presentations or work. I was in Amsterdam, Den Haag, and Brussels last month and Vitamin Water Revive did the trick as did getting as much sleep as possible on the plane over (overnight flight) then staying up until normal bed time that night.

    Next time…

  8. Erik, France have been using the Euro as completely as you use the dollar for around 2 years…

    Nice to see it Paris again, I haven’t been that way in a while, spend most of my time in France way up in the Alps or in the countryside.

    Glad to see that the riots didn’t affect all of Paris. Just goes to show how the media enjoys exagerating the situation in foreign countries.

  9. Alex, foreign medias (Fox, CNN, The Independent) are exagerating about the cause of the riots, but about the places, they (riots) affect many places in whole France now, not only Paris suburbias. I live 1 hour from Germany & Switzerland in the north-east & cars were burnt here as well.

  10. Great photo from Paris. I was there last September and I always feel like I’m still there when looking at picture from other people.

    As for what was going outside of Paris, the fact that you didn’t see anything is a reflection of the problem in France.

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