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...It is nice to be back in Paris. I was supposed to wake up at 4:45 am to catch the bus to the Eurostar line from London back to Paris, but I woke up at six and cursing. Calling a taxi - and sprinting to an ATM to pay the taxi - got me to the station just in time, but the mix of very sudden stress, exercise, and a night of drinking with friends just prior had me going, "I think I'm going to be sick," on the train. I tossed in the lou just before burying under the chunnel.
Somehow, it is the cities that I become the most endeared to that I have the hardest time finding the words I want to share. I feel like anything I try couldn't possibly do them justice. My earlier week in Paris was amazing (all the more so because I got to stay for free (thank you Jenny Long (check out her beautiful photos here))). An English ex-patriot told me, "you never leave Paris." Even as I did, I thought he was right. Very much like Vienna, Paris is endlessly classy and so much fun. Despite the extra length I have allocated to both cities in comparison to my other stops, I doubt you could ever spend too much time in either.
Eating in London has been fine, but hardly because of the English offerings. You are never far from cheap cuisine from the Indians, Turkish, or the many nations of Asia - all with friendlier options for vegetarians. My efforts in London have been super touristy, and I have no apologies or regrets. Museums and landmarks mostly... Big Ben and the Rosetta Stone (which is much bigger than I imagined). I quite liked seeing Shakespeare in the Globe Theater, with my my arms folded as I leaned on the stage (apparently they let women play in the theater these days). In a woody pub, I heard one Englishman (with the Geiko gekko accent, but much stronger) explaining "Skape" to a pair of friends (we say "Skype"). An older gentleman piped in (and seemingly without any irony), "What's the internet!?" I hope dearly that he was serious. For the first time in my journey, I wasn't disappointed to find grey skies and rain - in London it is part of the experience. Oh, and Charles Darwin is on the printed money. Awesome.
Oh, and it was a waste of time, but I did see Quentin Tarantino at the UK premier of Inglorious Basterds.
Look, we broke this young man's constitution. He is smiling!
Oh yeah, Dr. Scholl should go to prison for malpractice. The injustices done to my feet evaporated once I threw my sole inserts in the waste bin. And all the while till then, I was like, "boy my feet sure do hurt right now... I can't imagine how much worse they would be if I didn't have these Dr. Scholl's sole inserts."
Today, I wandered from the the Latin Quarter to the Champs Elysee, spent an afternoon with Van Gogh and Renoir in the Musee d'Orsay, and drank wine on the banks of the river Seine with a dozen Englishmen and Americans. Two days till the Tour de France. I will be very sad to leave.