The weather is agreeable today – hot but not unbearable. Although my feet have swollen to twice their normal size and now I have blisters. Eww!
This fountain is around the corner from my apartment. There is a roundabout for cars, scooters and bikes around it. To get almost anywhere, I have to cross at least some part of it. A terrifying feat, indeed. No one and I mean no one, pedestrians included, pay attention to any posted signage or lights. At first, I only would cross when the pedestrian light was green. For future reference, this is a good way to die. Then I followed the traffic lights and would only cross when everyone coming my way had a red.
So now, I have two strategies. One – stand behind someone else crossing and cross when they do. I figure even if a car comes careening for us, I can push them towards the car and run the other way. Two – look in all directions and seeing no cars moving, dash across while making the sign of the cross and mumbling a Hail Mary. It can’t hurt, right?
I walked down to the Bois de Bologne – a park and as far as I know (I could be wrong) the only ‘natural’ park in Paris. I think some regent or another liked to shoot things in it. Anyway, I have plans of it being where I go for my morning run (fine, it’s a jog but it sounds way better to say run). I wanted to check it out because I heard at night it’s full of prostitutes (hey, they gotta make a living too) and drug dealers (they need to find a new way to make a living) but it’s totally safe during the day.
It’s definitely in “nice” neighborhood. And on a Sunday, it was crawling with families having picnics, couples lolling in the grass, friends meeting to chat and sunbathe and the occasional jogger. How they jog in that heat is beyond me – I will have to go in the morning when it’s cooler. I found a path that’s visible the whole time and seems quite safe – visible from the street too. So, we’ll see if it happens tomorrow morning (those blisters, you know) but now I know where it is!
People watching was fun there. Lots of children but unlike in North America – no shrieking or hollering. Also, when I was walking down the path there were two seperate instances where children were playing (a ball and a frisbee) in the path. As soon as I was near, the stopped, held their ball and said ‘bonjour’ until I had passed. It was nice not to have to duck a ball that inevitably flies by my head with a parent sheepishly shrugging, “what can we do?”. Their parents were nearby but didn’t say a word.
I also saw a woman swat her toddler (he was ignoring her and throwing stones into the pond) in PUBLIC and no one batted an eyelash. Ooh la la. In Canada, we’d have social services after her by now. Interesting.
I’ve also noticed that I walk faster than everyone. So I am making a concentrated effort to walk slower. We’ll see how it goes!