Paris, France
48° 51' N 2° 19' E
Mar 16, 2005 13:43
Distance 0km

Text written in: English

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore

Well, through a combination of trickery, emotional blackmail and bureaucracy, I was coaxed to the North not once, not twice, but three times over the past week !
Dear Florian, who enticed me with drinks to a bar purportedly at Abbesses which it later transpired was actually Château Rouge
Dear Mother, who sent me on a mission to find her wedding ring at marché des bijoux at Porte de Clignancourt (where there is a massive antique market)
And finally, my favourite administration, which sent me to a lost and forgotten government office to pick up a piece of paper stating that D & I are not already civil-unioned.
Well, as it so happened, I was revealed to be most bigoted and mislead in my perceptions of the North. I guess I haven't been there since I was a green as grass kiwi boy, and those dark first impressions have stayed with me since.
Alright, so at Chateau Rouge, all the windows of the KFC were smashed in, but nobody robbed me at gunpoint and I didn't worry about stepping on a hypodermic needle (which was my original fear). Instead I discovered a relaxed bar where people were just being themselves and were unpretentious (evidenced by their attire! [god i'm a bitch]).
At Porte de Clignancourt, my discomfort was mainly due to my dislike of crowds rather than being vexed by pickpockets (of which there are far more on the Rue de Rivoli or Champs-Elysées). And I discovered an AWESOME antique market. Didn't find a ring for mum though - well, maybe, but my digital camera is no good for close-ups.
At Vilette, I discovered a well organised Government service with friendly employees in a recently constructed, well designed building. I was in and out in 5 minutes (as opposed to the 90 mins + it takes to get things done at most government offices here). OK, so the social housing projects weren't pretty, but there were just regular families doing their thing, shopping, strolling in the sun on the wide boulevard.
So I stand corrected ! Naughty me ! Next thing you know, I'll be proclaiming an affection for Auckland !
The sun has finally come out, first day of Spring - two weeks ago it was snowing, now we have 20 degrees today... ah, bless.
And in two weeks, Vienna !

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