Saturday, April 09, 2005

Field Trip

At Pigalle, a group of schoolkids boarded the Twelve, shepherded by their frantic teacher.

“Everybody grab onto something. Emilie, don’t hold onto Valentin, he doesn’t count as a stationary object. Move over next to Stéphane and hold onto the pole.”

I stood in the corner of the car. The influx of first-graders flattened me against the wall. The car was instantly full. The teacher was young but prematurely aged--frazzled, early-mid career, still energetic. She packed three kids under each arm and heroically squinted up at the metro map on the wall. The kids, massed together around the seats, were the same height standing up as the adults were sitting. The general effect was that of a perfectly trimmed but heterogeneous lawn. Kids chattered, bobbing back and forth as the car rattled on towards St. Georges. Commuters smiled.

Standing next to me were two women. They eyed the field of young Frenchies and frowned. Said purple lipstick to Bon Marché shopping bag:

“Paris is okay at night but it’s hell in the daytime.”


Blogger Chemical Billy said...

" The general effect was that of a perfectly trimmed but heterogeneous lawn."

Lovely. You two are making me homesick for Paris. I lived there as a kid, and the metro was, to me, the bestthingeverinvented. At nine years old, suddenly I could go anywhere. For a hick kid from Utah, i could imagine nothing better.

Thanks for the memory trip.

9:22 PM, April 10, 2005  

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