Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Trees and Grass Again

Oh me, oh my. I'm so ready to be done writing that travelogue. So ready. Two weeks of travelling in France, and I'm stuck after the fact writing and writing and agonizing and agonizing for, what, months! Oh, my. I am so ready to be done.

So I'm sitting here, finished. Finished with the travelogue, I mean. Sitting here in the pleasant afterglow of being done. And sitting here happy about it -- being done that is.

I'm sitting here and Trudy looks at me with a squint on her face.

So will you now start writing about ... about trees and grass and sunshine and things again? she asks.

I laugh. That's funny. Yes I will. Tomorrow.

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The Final Photo

We went to get sandwiches for dinner. I was (again) almost incapable of functioning, no doubt due not only to hunger but also to thirst and the massive infusion of sugar from the Berthillion ice cream we stopped to get with Laure on our way back from the Marais.

Incapable of functioning, I was. So just what is up with that? Here we are, our last day in France, and I'm in the middle of some kind of biochemical reaction that turns me into a monster. Oh well, it wasn't the first time. We were all used to it, by now, which is where the whole sandwich thing comes in -- you see sandwiches were easy to find and to snarf in just such an emergency. By this time we knew sandwiches were key, and we didn't waste any time looking for anything else.

So we got our snarfable sandwiches from some place along Boulevard St. Michel, and we took them and our drinks back across the river and found a place to sit and eat.

The rain was gone now, and the sun was periodically peering thru gaps in the gray clouds. We found a place along the Seine to sit, dangling our legs over the edge and watching the bateaux mouches go by. And when we were done and the hunger had passed, we climbed up the stone stairs from the riverside back to the bridge and began to walk back to our hotel.

Then the sun came out and lit up the towers of Notre Dame -- lit them up for the first time in several days. And the sun hit our backs as we gazed across the bridge at the towers of the cathedral on the island. And our shadows stretched across the street.

As we stood there with the sun at our backs and our shadows before us, I took out our camera and took a picture of the view: Notre Dame, the skyline of Paris, the river Seine, and the shadows of the three of us late in the evening of the last day of our Trip to France.

And that was it.

Trip to France - Day 15

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The Question was About Jobs?

The Vice Presidential debate is going on. They're at it, duking it out, somewhere in Cleveland. They've spent a lot of time talking about foreign policy, but Gwen Ifil asked a question about poverty and jobs:

The question was about jobs? John Edwards asked.

It was about jobs and poverty, Gwen Ifil said.

I thought the question was about jobs and poverty, Edwards responded. I hope we get to talk about education, which is what the Vice President talked about, but the question was about jobs and poverty.

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House-bound Reporter

Wall Street Journal reporter on the ground in Baghdad writes home about the situation there (emph. added):

[Common Dreams/Farnaz Fassihi]: I am house bound. I leave when I have a very good reason to and a scheduled interview. I avoid going to people's homes and never walk in the streets. I can't go grocery shopping any more, can't eat in restaurants, can't strike a conversation with strangers, can't look for stories, can't drive in any thing but a full armored car, can't go to scenes of breaking news stories, can't be stuck in traffic, can't speak English outside, can't take a road trip, can't say I'm an American, can't linger at checkpoints, can't be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling.

... The genie of terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed onto this country as a result of American mistakes and it can't be put back into a bottle.

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