Sunday, April 21, 2013

Saturday with Friends...

Ex-pats living here often comment about the number of "instant yet old friends" they seem to acquire after they've landed in Paris.

Jude and I haven't experienced that.  Not yet, at least.  What we have experienced is close company renewed when good friends come to visit (or when we go visit them in, say, London or Girona, for example).

Yesterday was one of those days when great people happened to be in town looking to share in a bit of fun.

Kitty of Miz Kitty's Parlor came to visit with a friend of her's.  They'd been all over town and were probably a little tired.  But, when in Paris, a person sometimes needs to keep going.  She enjoys flea markets and we'd promised her that Paris has some of the biggest and best flea markets in the world.  We hoped she wouldn't be disappointed.

Off to Porte de Vanves we went on a cold, blustery, and supposedly Spring, day.

Old postcards were pawed, oggled, wondered over, and purchased.  A period bowler was discovered, tried on, approved of by Jude and Kitty's friend, and then paid for as the vendor continued to work to get a very old mantel clock running again (no doubt to be able to charge much more than a non-functioning clock would've been worth).  1800's shoes were tried on and found to not fit.  Vintage clothing was viewed from a distance and judged to be too small.  An ashtray wielding fox's price was inquired after and, in the final analysis, deemed to be too heavy and too large to carry back in anything smaller than a steamer trunk.  A very Parisian vendor gave Jude and I a full well thought out explanation of why the creative arts scene here is not what it used to be (which involved a lot of greedy top 1%'ers not being held in check, socialism's failing to do what was needed, leaving the rest of us to worry inordinately over money and whether we too would someday, somehow become rich enough to not care about, well, anything, actually).

After two plus hours of a nice slow crawl down the vendor row, Jude and I inspected Kitty to see how she we doing.  Overwhelmed was the word that came to mind.  It was duly noted that it was lunch time and we knew we needed nourishment, quick.  So I dialed up our favorite cafe in the 15th and secured a reservation for four at 13h30.

Happy with our many purchases, the four of us climbed back onto the tram for a quick ride down the line and a fast transfer to the Metro.  We popped up out of the Metro near our eatery and beat feet to the Captain's Table.  "We're here! and we're hungry!!"  Flea marketing can do that to a person.  Make them hungry, that is.

As we sat down at our table, I leaned over to Kitty's friend and mentioned that there would likely be a fair amount of singing going on today.  We weren't at a supper club where this kind of thing is expected.  Rather, we'd joined a fair sized group of, well, it was rather confusing what kind of group they actually where.  They dressed like Scots in hat department.  They wore jerseys that could've been rugby or le football (soccer to you Yanks).  They were definitely not Parisian as they were having far too much fun.  Maybe they were Spanish?  We wondered.

Kitty caught one of the revelers attention and I asked where they were from and what they were up to.  Ah. Clarity, at least.

They were fans of le foot from Lyon and their team, dressed in green, bien sur!, was in town to compete against the Parisian club.  They were up for the day and needed to fuel up before heading of to the Big Event.  In addition to food, they drank a bit of wine and sang to limber up the vocal cords.  They sang when new bottles of vino arrived.  They sang when the wedding party upstairs started singing (to, no doubt, drown out that serious and maudlin sense of song the Parisians seem to have acquired).  They sang for the sake of singing.

At one point someone from the wedding party asked "s'il vous plait, cinq minutes."  The Lyon Foot Fan Club complied.  Grudgingly.

About that time I needed to get up and head to the loo.  On my way I joked with one of the club members who was standing with his arms crossed, intently watching the wedding proceedings, and said to him with my biggest grin "s'il vous plait, cinq minutes."  We both laughed and he replied "on se debrouille, on se debrouille" ("we will manage, we will manage).

The moment the wedding party had had their five minutes of relative peace, the Lyonaise broke out in full bellow with le marseillaise.

You can't make this stuff up.  So, to provide a wee-bit-o-evidence, I caught some of the fun on video.

After the fans left and after we drank our cafe-calva's (the worm must be killed!  Killed!! I tell you [inside joke]), we headed out into what had become a bright, warm, clear day.  After a bit of shopping in the street fair being held just outside the cafe's entry, Jude and I bid our friends "safe journeys."

It wasn't an hour later and we were already missing their company.

No comments:

Post a Comment