Chinese New Year

After my long journey over land and under sea yesterday, I woke up surprisingly refreshed around eleven o’clock this afternoon, just in time to contemplate the day’s events.

As today was the first of the month, I had to go and recharge my Navigo pass, and it was the Chinese New Year parade. Only one of these sounded like fun, but I had to do both, so after eating some Cheerios and getting dressed, I left the apartment and descended to the Metro.

In all of Paris, I believe the attendants at this station are the most rude and unhelpful. Everywhere else I go, they at least try to help, here they couldn’t care less. I know that my timing was bad today, it was a Sunday during working hours and they are French. The French, no matter who they are, don’t really care too much about customer service or their jobs. This is all fine, because I feel much the same way, but it does make life difficult sometimes.

I tried the machine, knowing full well that it wouldn’t work. I learned today that the machines don’t accept our cards because they aren’t able to understand currency conversions, not because of the magnetic strip. So, that didn’t make it work, but less annoying. I asked the man to do it for me behind the window, because he was enabled to do that, as all Metro stations in Paris are, but he said he couldn’t. We both knew he was lying, and he seemed quite pleased about it. So, I rode down to the Bastille and waited in line and joyfully [sarcasm] paid my $70 to get the card charged up for the month.

I got on the train and rode down to where the parade was going to be. There were probably ten people and the parade was supposed to have started ten minutes ago. I asked the woman near me, and she said it would get there in a half hour. (It arrived one hour and ten minutes later, as a matter of fact.) In the mean time, I listened to my iPod and froze to death.

Standing there, I heard the awful trumpet sound again. Determined to know what it was, I ripped off one of my headphones. It was then, I was startled to be able to hear the trumpeting in one ear. Feeling incredibly stupid, I pulled it out and the sound stopped. The horrible, haunting trumpet melody was a part of the song that I have been listening to a lot lately.

Listen to the ending, it’s creepy. I was very embarrassed for myself.

After about a half hour a crowd started to grow and a drive-by shooting occurred, or so I thought. But no, it was just children playing with fireworks. It was then that the absurdity of the legality of fireworks in a big city struck me. These little things were shooting around the street and hitting people. One hit me in the leg! I jumped a little bit each time I heard it.

Once I had lost all feeling in my feet, hands, and face, the parade finally arrived. This was my second New Year’s celebration in Paris, and there were about the same number of people at both events. The costumes were lovely, there were drums, smiling and happy Asians, girls in costumes which made them look like they were riding llamas, and of course, beautiful dragons floating above the crowd. It was a very lovely, but very short parade.

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During the parade, I was annoyed by the number of people who were using those horrible, enormous and expensive cameras. I have used these things, and they do not give you any better result than a little camera you can slip into your pocket. They think the all look like they are on a National Geographic outing, but they just look silly.

As the parade drew to a close, I was rather afraid because I could no longer feel my feet…at all. When I walked, I could hardly move them. Assuring myself that I would have to have them amputated, I hurried back home. I threw myself into the shower and poured hot water all over my pale, lifeless feet. I don’t think there was a drip of blood in them. The next ten minutes were painful as I slowly warmed my feet back and regained some movement. It was awful.

I tidied up the apartment and made some chicken and pasta. Most of my cheese-filled pastas were empty, this time, for some reason. I was rather annoyed.

Then I watched the Australian version of Kath & Kim. I love that show. It always makes me want to go to Melbourne, really bad. I mean, they have a Target and a beach. What more could you possibly want? On the Internet today, I read that Australian scientists want people to eat more kangaroos because kangaroos fart and burp a lot, and the emissions are bad for the environment. I’m not making this up!

Well, I’m off to go and watch Craig Ferguson…night.

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