October 11, 2010

i am invincible invisible

So I caved this summer and finally started reading the Harry Potter series. I'm half way through book number five (of seven) and although I'm not a die hard fan (what are Harry Potter fans called, potheads? I don't know, but this is what I will call them), they are extremely well written and entertaining and I have a general appreciation for them now. I don't power through a 500 page book in a night, or even a week, like many potheads I have met (there are a lot of them out there, by the way). For those of you who haven't read the series, Harry has this invisibility cloak that he received as a gift in the first book and he uses it throughout the series for various things. When he puts the cloak on, nobody can see him, but he still has to be careful because wearing the cloak only makes him invisible - people cannot pass through him because he is still physically there. Welcome to my life in Paris. Most days, I feel like I'm invisible as soon as my feet hit the cobblestone. Parisians are always in a rush, on foot and by car. I have battle wounds from people running into me - I'm constantly getting side checked and stepped on - and there have been many times where people run into me head on only to realize that there's something there stopping them dead in their tracks....ME! I'm used to lanes of pedestrian traffic, where if you are given space you stick to the right side and people just kind of flow like cars on the road. I thought this mentality of spatial unawareness was European, but the more I travel the more I realize it's a Parisian-specific condition...they just don't care. I'm quite certain that if it wasn't for traffic signals and crosswalks, I would be in a full body cast because Parisians don't care if you're in the crosswalk if they have a green light. To them, green means "go" - it doesn't mean "go with caution and look for pedestrians". Even the homeless people don't notice me...A week ago, a decrepit bum dropped his pants in the metro station and came dangerously close to pissing on my feet. So next time you are faced with one of those questions that's something like "would you rather have the ability to fly or be invisible?", think twice about your answer. Although I haven't experienced flying, I've had enough experience with being invisible and it's not as fun as it sounds.

In other news, my good friend Christina recently came to visit and got to be invisible with me for a week. It was so much fun to have her here - we wandered around Paris and also escaped to Barcelona for a few days!

waiting for the eiffel tower's light show

a trip to the basilica

christina turned 25 while she was in paris...a good excuse for delicious desserts!

barcelona - christina took me for a nice boat ride in one of these...she did all the work and I took pictures

the mediterranean...some people were swimming but this is as far as we went in

a beautiful day in barcelona