Paris: Day one
I have realised I'm really REALLY bad at this whole regular updating thing haha. Like as I'm going through Paris and doing everything, I draft up posts about interesting things I see. Beautiful lines of prose literally start weaving themselves through my head, no joke. Unfortunately, when it comes to sitting at my laptop, this doesn't quite translate. It's th exact same feeling when I've got a song stuck in my head and then when I go to sing it out loud, things go terribly terribly wrong.
Anyways. I'm going to try get better.
24 hours of flight time from Sydney to Paris wasn't so bad. I think this view helped.
Also I watched Bridge of Spies. Highly recommended. If I were one of those chill surfer types, I'd go so far as to say it's "choiiiiicceee, bro." And that, sir, is a very high compliment.
7am touchdown in Paris. To be honest, I had a 'moment'. Sometimes I have moments in my life when suddenly things go different. I can't figure out quite how to explain it. I just feel very different in these moments, very special. My thoughts become completely, fully aware and I feel apart from everyone else around me. Does anyone else have any idea what I'm talking about?
(Edit: OK. I just thought of the exact way to describe it. In these moments, the way I feel is that I am completely vibing life. I really can't explain it further than that haha)
This particular time happened because I was listening to the Alive 2007 album by Daft Punk as the plane began its descent into Paris. Anyone who has even mentioned the topic of music to me has probably had me raving on about this album for the next decade of their life. But yeah. It's choice, bro. It's the album recorded from Daft Punk's last ever tour in Paris actually and they've never done a show since.
Anyways, EXACTLY as my plane touched down, the song switched from "Too Long / Steam Machine" into "Around the world / Harder better faster strong". As soon as that happened, I was literally like "FUCK, thank you life." Because I literally had come around the world haha. And I had actually been really nervous about Paris the whole flight and how it'd be. But then as soon as I heard this song, I just knew - knew - Paris would be good because I'd go harder, faster, stronger.
Yeah, that's how my brain thinks.
Anyways, now I might actually get around to talking about Paris haha.
After touching down, I went straight to Jardin D'Alice where I'd be staying the night. See, in planning Paris, I'd had this whole idea that I'd stay one night couchsurfing with someone who would be part of the climate activisim. I didn't know how, but that's what I wanted. Then I found Jardin D'Alice, an art space where people could come create the banners and props and everything they needed for the climate activism.
I liked it straight away and emailed them asking if I could stay in their space for just one night, saying I'd sleep on the floor and that I was a small person and wouldn't take up much space at all. I even drew pictures and stuff, since I couldn't write french without a translation.
And some time later, this was their reply:
And that was that, guys. Haha. You can imagine why I was a bit nervous touching down having only heard like three total words from them. But I think those three words were enough in the end. :)
This was my bedroom for the night.
And yeah, it ain't glam. I know. And I didn't have a sleeping mat so I'd be sleeping on the cold ground with a bunch of other people. All day I was not looking forward to it at all.
But you know what, in the end, it was completely cool. And I actually got a great sleep, strangely enough. And they were actually so open and generous about it. Like when I first got in, I just said I'd emailed asking to stay and they were like "oh cool, I'll get someone to show you the bedroom".
Actually, this is the couple who showed me where the bedroom was. Here they are playing rock, paper, scissors haha.
I really vibed with them. Like sometimes you just meet people you like straight away. These were those kinds of people for me. They'd been to Nepal together for 4 months earlier this year. They were talking about how they went to a sort of meditation camps for 10 days there. And this was EXACTLY what I'd wanted to do earlier this year haha, it's one of these camps where you spend 10 days in silence. They were talking about how it was crazy, they had to sit and meditate for 12 hours each day, with only 5 or 10 min breaks every hour or two.
And one weird outcome was that they had REALLY good posture. You can see in the photo above how freakishly good their posture is. I only notice because my posture is terrible and I'm trying to make it better, so I notice everyone else's posture haha.
Anyways, I wanted to check out the ZAC - a climate action convergence zone that would provide a meeting and learning place to mobilise citizens for climate action. The in my head was that I'd go to Jardin D'Alice, dump by stuff and see if anyone else wanted to check out the ZAC and head with them.
Turns out the couple wanted to check it out too. :)
So we took the metro together, accompanied by their beautiful dog. The irony in the end was that the ZAC was actually not that great haha. By the time we got there, we'd missed a session just starting and decided we were hungry haha.
Then they bumped into one of their friends who said he knew a squat where we could get lunch on donation. So that's where we ended up. All sitting cross-legged on the floor eating this vegan meal. I know it looks odd but I really like this kind of food. I got used to it in Amsterdam when I was in the squat scene a lot. It's always just really hearty and tasty. :)
After that, we split up and I went to a workshop on Civil Disobedience. On December 12th, there's a planned action and basically they were prepping us for it. I don't know what I was expecting but it was not this. I now know what to do should I get tear gas-ed, pepper spray-ed or have riot police advancing towards me.
So if you need to know, you know who your go-to chica is.
But that is a story for another day haha.
The rest of my night was spent back at Jardin D'Alice in a blur of tiredness. Now, I'm all for trying to do as much as you can when travelling and taking opportunities and all that jazz. But man, sometimes when you are completely tired, it is completely OK just to chill and do nothing. It is completely OK.
And on that note, I had a blissful night of sleep.
I woke up at 6am for a quick pee. And I was sitting on the toilet staring at this.
And grimy as hell as everything was, I realised everything I'd imagined had come to life. I'd wanted to be in a place where the action was happening, where I'd get to see and be with people as excited as I was. And that was here.
On the toilet of an art space in the middle of Paris.