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Clarissa 29 Brighton UK. Atheist asexual cynic. Loves green. Hates kids.
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To Paris and back
Mon, Jul 04 2005 @ 21:38   //   Category: Life & Me   //   6 comments

So I spent the week-end in Paris. And it was fabulous!

You might find this surprising once you've read my account. I didn't actually do much at all you see. On Saturday my ankle was a bit sore (I'd stupidly twisted it on Friday night when I got my foot caught in my hairdryer cable) so I decided to be very careful as I didn't want it to hurt during the concert. So I went for a short walk around my favourite spots, took in the lovely scenery, then got myself some lunch & sat in a park and read until it was time for the concert.

I dropped off most of my stuff (which wasn't much) at the hotel (where I was treated most cordially) & made my way to Versailles. There were many people, all enjoying themselves to various degrees. I got myself something to drink, lay down under a tree and read. Then my book was over, so I went to the train station and bought another one and also some more to drink, and read. I moved about from time to time, but I have to say I did not stay near the stage for any longer than 5mins all day (it was scorching!!).

Then at 23.00CET Placebo finally came on and it was wonderful and great and exciting, and altho it was only 2 songs and one might find it ridiculous to go through all of that for 10mins of Placebo, they were 10 most amazing minutes and besides, I had a very pleasant day reading in the sunshine and talking to cute people (one of whom gave me her bracelet for access to the restricted area, but in the end it was too full to make it worth it so I just stayed in front of one of the big screens for big scale Brian drooling).

I really really loved just being there, it was so chilled out, lots of people there, all having fun, most of them leaving me alone, I could read and observe and read and dream and read and enjoy the heat and the laziness and the atmosphere, and I didn't miss onlineness, and it was holidayish and a change of scenery and basically amazing. :-)

(am I supposed to say sth about the hypocrisy of the Live8 idea? yeah well it was obvious but I never went there for the Live8 idea anyway, I only wanted to see Placebo. and lots of people have said lots of things about it so whatever. when I first booked I actually felt guilty and considered donating the price of the plane ticket to some charity to make up for my outrageous consumerism but then didn't. obviously.)

So that was Live8 for me. When I left Versailles to go back to Paris my hip suddenly really hurt. I hadn't been doing much all day, mainly sitting around, so I have no idea how it happened, but it was really painful. By the time I made it to the hotel I could barely walk. So obviously the next day did not involve much walking either.

It was better the next morning but I could not walk for more than 15-20 mins without resting. And I had to walk very slowly, which made me feel incredibly incapacitated and frustrated. I realised
1. how fast I usually walk (even then, what I considered 'slow' seemed to be only slightly below average speed for normal people)
2. how much I rely on being mobile (you can decide to get the Métro to wherever you wanna go, but when even walking to the platform seems a scary prospect, what do you do then??)
3. how self-conscious I feel when I am limping about. I'm utterly convinced everyone is staring at me thinking "poor thing, what happened to her?" I actually had a few people asking/commenting "did you hurt yourself?" - wtf, what business is that of yours?

So Sunday was spent walking little (in short bouts) and sitting much (again: reading). Did I mention I'd bought two 2nd hand books on Saturday? :P I did however go to the Centre Pompidou for the Big Bang exhibition (this is modern art, not astronomy!) and it was very incredibly cool - cool because it was an amazing exhibition, and cool because the Centre Pompidou has air conditioning. And it was free that day too! :D

That's pretty much it. I had sad moments - missing my dad for instance - and I had annoying moments - mainly pain-related and heat-related - but mainly I had great great moments. I think the main thing was realising Paris is so close still. Well not really that close since the whole trip takes about 5hrs, but close enough if you consider that you can actually go there just for a weekend, even without taking a day off. You're shattered on Monday cuz you've travelled most of Friday night and Sunday night, slept little and stressed much, but it's so liberating to be able to get away. Sitting in the Jardin des Tuileries on Sunday was... I can't describe it. It was just a feeling of "Oh wow, I am here! I just got on various means of public transport, and now I am here, reading a book in my beloved Paris!"

I think more than anything it's the "getting away" that mattered. Which is a bit sad in a way I guess - I love Brighton, and I chose to come and live just here, and nowhere else. But now I feel slightly trapped here. And I don't usually have the energy and the motivation to go away for a weekend. It scares me cuz it's stressful and it means I can't get much of the rest and isolation I (think I) need so much. But going away is so much fun!!! To think that 24hrs ago I walked the streets of my beloved Paris! I still have the images imprinted upon my mind. Which is silly cuz I've been so so many times and should not need another visit to remind me of its beauty. But there will never be enough. The images always fade away after a while and there remains nothing but an abstract idea of beauty, so far from the immediate memories.

God I have to stop being so damn obsessed about Paris. I also have to book a flight for my next trip (end of August). I tried to find sth from Gatwick but this seems impossible (wtf? there have to be direct flights from Gatwick, surely!?). Travelling to/from Heathrow is a pain. In fact my home journey was a bit of a nightmare. I ended up at the wrong terminal in Roissy, had to catch a bus and nearly missed the flight (seriously, it was "check in, run to gate, get on plane). Then I arrived at Heathrow T4 and found there would not be a Brighton bus for ages. Caught train to Heathrow T1-2-3 and found bus to Gatwick at 22.30. Got off at wrong terminal in Gatwick, caught transit to other terminal and caught Brighton bus at 0.35. Made it home at 1.15gmt. I could write a review on airport transit (Gatwick wins by far! unsurprisingly :x)

So now I'm back home and despite excessive heat, various pains and ailments, rushing around airports and nothing but a 10min Placebo performance I can honestly say I had an incredible weekend. And I think I shall end my entry on this thought lest it become depressing again.

People say...

Awwww, sounds amazing! I knew you were going to see Placebo but I didn't realise it was for the Live8 thing. Did you not stay for the whole thing then? I know it lasted forever, but, was there no one else you wanted to stay & see?

>>I love Brighton, and I chose to come and live just here, and nowhere else. But now I feel slightly trapped here.

Indeed. Have been thinking thoughts along these lines all weekend.

Posted by: The BML on Mon July 4, 2005 at 21:38

Apparently there was no one else who cold lure me away from my tree and my book. There were a few I was kinda interested in but not that much.

Hmmmm @ thoughts. But wouldn't it be the same everywhere? I dunno. Perpetual dissatisfaction. lol

Posted by: Clarissa on Mon July 4, 2005 at 21:46

Indeed. *sigh* Nice to dream tho.

PS. Johnny Depp in chocolate.

Posted by: The BML on Tue July 5, 2005 at 20:44

LOL @ "even then, what I considered 'slow' seemed to be only slightly below average speed for normal people".

I'm on crutches at the moment - I still move faster than most people in the street (although not for extended periods).


Posted by: Charlie Williams on Wed July 6, 2005 at 14:51

London won.

Posted by: Anne on Wed July 6, 2005 at 16:55


I know London won. The IOC sucks

Posted by: Clarissa on Wed July 6, 2005 at 18:23