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Hot in Paris

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Hot in Paris

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That first day walking around Paris with Raoul was hot, upper 90s with 80% humidity hot, & I hadn’t slept in two days. I am not one that gets nauseous, & can count on my hands how many times I’ve thrown up.   But as the day went on I got steadily sicker.

 After how far I’d come I couldn’t stay in.  Raoul & I went to the Eiffel Tower & sat on the steps in a patch of shade.  I’m a forth generation people watcher.  Never was there a better sight than the people milling around taking photos, & spending $8 too much for ice-cream.

We pleasantly conversed with a few loiterers, from a woman with a large grin & prominent princess umbrella, to a pigeon who’s clearly part of Paris’s punk scene.

Meeting the Princess Outside the Eiffel Tower

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Punk Pigeon of Paris

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Walk Around the Eiffel Tower

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As soon as we started walking again the sickness returned.  By the time we made our way down to the base of the tower, I was about to pass out.  Nausea & dizziness were overwhelming.  There’s a park with trees that surrounds the tower’s base.  I reached a grassy area (as Raoul later told me) in a dizzy haze, mumbled, “It looks like a deer bed.” & collapsed.  I came to just long enough to pass off one of my cameras to Raoul to guard.  We each clutched one to our chests as we fell asleep.  We slept for hours.

Nap Outside the Eiffel Tower

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The grass loves me.  Why else would it cradle me with such tenderness?  I drift in & out of Peru, the Uintas & Paris.  The Eiffel Tower slowly solidifies into view.  Blades of grass have textured my skin.
We woke up when Simon, Raoul’s childhood friend called to say he was in town & wanted to meet up for a bite.  Raoul was anxious for me to try escargot & frog legs among other things.  I wasn’t myself but able to walk.  By the time we got to the restaurant the dizziness returned.  I couldn’t believe I went all the way to Paris to get sick!  It was unlike my stomach to be such a jerk.  The guys were worried & asked for us to be seated in a cooler area.  (Parisians don’t believe in AC)  I ordered food & lay down afraid if I moved I’d pass out.  I fell in & out of sleep while they ate.
The Charming Simon, After Dinner

The Charming Simon, After Dinner

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The Charming Raoul, After Dinner

The Charming Raoul, After Dinner

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Sickly with Simon & Raoul

Sickly with Simon & Raoul

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When I woke up I found out the restaurant staff had been so concerned they tried convincing the guys to call me an ambulance.  That would have been embarrassing & unnecessary.  I already felt weak and a little silly for my ‘delicate constitution.’  It must have been the salmon I ate in the plane… that’s what I get for ordering farm raised salmon.  Salmon shouldn’t be dyed or fed corn & chicken feces .. (GO WILD ALASKA!)  I was overwhelmed at the thought of taking the crowded train back to Torcy, but knew it was the only way.  I was relieved to hear that when the Pradas (Raoul’s parents) heard I was sick they braved the roads of Paris to pick us up.  Driving in Paris is a skill few have.   I’ve never seen anything like the traffic leaving Paris.  I think it’s because everyone has second thoughts about leaving such a beautiful place, or maybe it’s because lanes don’e mean anything.  Either way this is what the traffic looks like at 1:30am.

Paris 1:30 am Traffic

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I fell asleep in the lovely room Mercedes prepared.  It was heaven.

Hannah Galli