Paris Fireworks

Prepare yourselves for a real treat. This narration will be glorious and exotic and marvelous and that’s just the narration! I will tell you of events such as you can barely imagine, except I only have about ten minutes worth of internet time and the elephants haven’t gotten here yet. So instead of all that stuff, I’ll just tell you about the first two days of Paris.

Paris is a big city, as many of you know, and also as many of you know, it is the capitol of France. Since most of you are american, you may not know that France is currently in the finals of the world cup (that’s the soccer event). They acquired this much sought after honor at about 11:13 PM night before last, which’d be the night of the 5th, when they beat their long time rivals, Portugal, in a very tense match. I know this, because from around 8 pm when the game started, the entire city of Paris went silent. It was like a ghost town, only with huge crowds spilling out into the streets surrounding those bars that possessed televisions. Every now and then a goal would be scored and the entire city would erupt in violent sound and fury. Then all would return to rapt silence.

But I start my story at the end. That was our first proper day in Paris, and it was a hell of a day. We met Gaelyn exactly where we planned, several hours after we had planned to. Gaelyn had to solo navigate the Paris subway with a hundred pound wooden chest containing props. We had a wonderful lunch at a Paris cafe, and then wandered the city for several hours, pushing our chest ahead of us.

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They say no sight is out of the ordinary in a city this size, but apparently five Americans pushing a hundred pounds of wooden chest on wheels is pretty unusual because there was all sorts of amazement written on the faces of the bystanders. It was around then that Gaelyn informed us of an awesome development:  a friend, a fellow performer, owns an empty house about a half an hour by subway from downtown, in which we were invited to stay. Sweet.

Being happy and pleasantly tired we did some showing off, no real gigs as we were out of costume and didn’t have all our props, but enough to get a feel for where we stood on the “that kicks ass” scale. People love the hand to hand act.

Then we started home. But first we had to grab all our other stuff from the hostel. The subway is an interesting place to have a hundred pound wooden chest, but it’s even more interesting when you’ve got two of them.

It was about twenty minutes into the ride home when the drug deal went down.
An oddly shaped dude mumbling to himself ‘tourist tourist tourist no terrorist, tourist tourist’ came up to us and said a few words in french, seeming to want something. Then, from around the corner comes a tall colored fellow in dreadlocks and rags and rams a small scrap of plastic bag into the first dude’s shirt, grins, and pulls the wad of cash from his patron’s hand. They exchange a momentary grapple, and the first opens the scrap of bag to sift through the weed wadded up inside. He seems to think it’s OK, ’cause then they go their own ways.

That was about 11:05 PM. At 11:13 PM the city exploded.

I don’t know who won the game, but I’m betting it was France. Boom. People, fireworks, honking horns, screaming, shouting, flag waving, whistling, tipping cars, dancing in the streets, big, loud, noise. I do not believe that I will ever forget pushing two one-hundred pound chests through the roaring crowds down unfamiliar streets in the middle of the night working on 4 hours of sleep since jet-lagged arrival. The crowds alone would have been unforgettable enough. Geoff and I watched in mute awe as, on one subway, two gentlemen came to blows literally over our chest. If the chest hadn’t been between them, it might have turned the whole car into a brawl.

Eventually, we got to the house, laid out our mats on the tile floor, and went to bed. It was about 3:45 AM. That was day 2.

Day 3 it rained, and one wheel came off the big chest.

Day 4 we gave our first ever full costume performance and made about thirty-five euro. We’ve got a long ways to go. Holy hell is this fun.

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