Jour Native

July 1, 2008

Operation act as a native day was a success, winding down at a cafe near Montmartre, drinking beer and reading. Saw parts of Paris not in the guidebook, plied the wares of the very excellent Au Vieux Campeur, stunned by the breadth of the climbing kit and books at their scattering of stores around the Sorbonne.

Had epic failure attemping to visit Fontainbleau, standing in no less than three wrong lines, late for two successive trains, and subjected to a raft of other bad information regarding the location of climbing gyms, availability of de billets on the train, and the location of non-machine purchasing of said billets. A day of detox was good, if extremely frustrating a few times.

Saw 20-odd Metro stops, manged on salami & pickles, cafe et bier. Had countless conversations in broken Franglais with gym employees, shopkeepers and Bureau de Poste guides. Saw probably the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life get off a train in Rive Gauche. Learned the intricacies of French retail. Saw the “real Paris” according to my new friend. Watched a 2-man brass band with a boombox backup stroll down a narrow street. Bummed my last French cigarette.

The lack of real climbing today strengthened my resolve for some Yosemite time this weekend. Friday will tell if I just crash for 2 days instead.

Yesterday’s events of breakfast, shopping, church-gazing and time with the newlyweds was worth it. We crammed a dozen people into a plaza cafe and watched artists sketch tourists in charcoal while drinking giant beers and eating frites et escargot. Tasty little fuckers, honestly.

I think I’ll find one of those cafes I saw brimming last night in my tipsy walk home from Sacre Couer, and wind down this trip with some wine and good food. Less than 12 hours until I fly home—which after a last-minute check of my calendar I am extremely relieved I didn’t fly to Barcelona this morning. Yay, San Francisco!

Edit: Just nerded out hard with the concierge over Feist; his ringtone, my mix.

Edit 2: The fucking brass band is following me.

Edit 3: According to the bride, I drop the F-bomb too much. C’est la vie.