Saturday, 21 April 2007

The Touch Typed Diary - Paris

Some background to what follows can be found here. Other installments are here.

I started this as a way to train at touch typing (hence the title) which I have finally taken up learning more or less seriously. At first I was typing what nonsense came across my mind and deleted it once I had finished. Gradually, it just turned into a diary relating the events (not very numerous) of my life. This has also the advantage of keeping me relatively busy at work when I have nothing else to do which seem to happen rather frequently these days.

11 February 2002

Boy, am I tired today! The weekend, on the whole, went quite well; too well even sometimes. There were also a few more straining moments, which was to be expected considering the situation.

As planned, I took the train on Friday evening straight after work and was in Paris around nine. PFM was slightly late as she did not expect the train to be on time (and she works for the SNCF!!!)

She guided me to her office were we met some of her colleagues and we took the metro to Les Halles and Le Marais where we found a small bar listed in the L section of some free leaflet we found in another bar. Strangely enough it was called the Adonis Bar and featured several reproduction statues of Michael Angelo’s David.

After while PFM beckoned to a girl who was sitting on her own to join us. We started to chat away merrily but later on as we were on our way to the L club PFM had decided to drag me to, we found ourselves rather relieved that she should decide not to join us and go home. She turned out to be rather immature and slightly paranoid which made her reply aggressively to some of our jokes (when she understood them, that is). We took a cab from Gare du Nord to the club somewhere on the rive gauche which gives it its name.

Once there, we rang at the door which was opened by a heavy who, as I had more or less expected it, refused me access, stating that this was a club for women. He then asked us if we knew where we were and what sort of club this was. We had to assure him that we knew and that neither of us was straight before he went back in, presumably to ask if he could let me in.

When he came back he said an exception could be made and let us in. An exception it was indeed: I was one of only two male customers and it remained so till much later when two guys came in.

Although no one paid much attention to me, I felt very conspicuous and ended up seated on a sofa in a corner from most of the evening.

PFM danced a bit but was feeling rather downcast, as the place (and customers) was obviously not what she had expected. I then had to tell her about my experience of clubbing on the G scene; the always disappointed expectations, not finding someone you fancy, not being looked at, the fact that everyone there is virtually a possibility, the low moral on coming back home alone, yet again. All things that she had seen me experienced but had not really understood until now.

Around 5, I think, we decided to take a cab back to the station and drive back to her place, which took a while as she lives miles away in the countryside.

In the morning (woke up at 11) we had a long, sometimes tearful chat about what was happening to her and what she was to do and all the usual stuff in these circumstances. I also gave a call to D. and we decided to meet at 8 the same evening and go to a restaurant neat Les Halles and then probably to a club.

On our way there, we went to PFM’s sister’s and then for a bit of shopping at Auchan!

Apparently, the situation has brought PFM and sister closer together which is quite nice. We were three quarters of an hour late to meet D. as it took us almost half an hour to travel down Rue de la Chapelle.

We went to an Italian restaurant on Rue de la Grande Truanderie and were joined later on by one of PFM’s female colleagues whom I had met earlier and her best friend. They went their separate ways once we had left the restaurant. PFM, D. and I decided to go to Queen on the Champs Elysées.

When we arrived there the “physionomiste”, told us that they did not let women in before 1 in the morning, so we went back some way to the George V café and waited there until closing time. We tried our luck once more and were admitted this time.

The venue is of good size and rather well adapted to its purpose. It is located in the basement of the building it is a part of, on two levels. The lower level comprises the dance floor, VIP enclosure and the bar, and there is a gallery, which runs around the whole place where people can look at the dancers from above.

I had a very good time I have to say, like I have not had for quite some time. D. seemed pleased too and PFM contrived to do what she had failed to do the night before, i.e. meet a girl. This is rather ironic, as there were not that many girls there.

At one point, D. and I went to the bar to have our free drink and were discussing the merits of one of the barmen and of the crowd around us on general. We noticed very close to us a tanned tallish blond guy dressed in black standing sideways to us. He was really beautiful, the sort of beauty you can not help but to acknowledge but seems to be at the same time too perfect and hence leaves you rather cold. We then noticed him talking to what we took to be a girl but was in fact a boy (there is hardly any other word to describe him). They were obviously boyfriends.

PFM who was standing a bit further had seen the dreamboat herself and had showed him to us. D. and I then went back to chat about this and that. A few minutes later, PFM came towards us and introduced us to Ka, a girl she had just met, and to the two guys we had been looking at a moment before. We all kissed. A., the boy is of the hyperactive type whereas O. seems much more poised.

O., who was by then standing next to me, asked me whose sister Pascale was, to which I answered that she was in fact my best friend and that was the end of our exchange for the night. D. and I went back to the dance floor and we left PFM with the other three.

Around half past five I was growing slightly weary and stopped dancing. By that time, almost every one had taken their top off on the dance floor and the air, which was very hot, was getting clammy. D. decided it was time to take his leave as metros were running again. Once we had said goodbye, I went in search of PFM whom I found upstairs with Ka. She said we would be leaving soon, A. and O. then joined us and after the four of them had done a bit of kissing, we made our way to the exit.

There, as I was leafing through some of the literature on offer regarding the club’s scheduled nights, I realises that this had actually been the residency of Trade from London! Which, albeit being very ironic, was good news as it meant I would be able to go there regularly and possibly enjoy myself as much as on that night.

We said a quick goodbye on the pavement outside the club and, Ka coming with us, we made our way back to PFM’s place. We arrived there at 7 in the morning and had to leave again at 11 to deliver Ka to her train in Gare de l’Est for 1. Which we did.

By that time, PFM, who had told me back in the club that she liked and fancied her conquest, had had time to change her mind.

I, personally, had realised that I kept on thinking about O.. A guy I had seen about 5 min in my life, who was in a relationship with someone that did not remotely look like me, who smoked and lived miles away from London and whom, even more importantly, I would probably never see again. He had not even particularly moved me, when I was in his presence. This is rather puzzling, to say the least.

After delivering our charge, we turned our looks towards Eaubonne where we were to have lunch with PFM’s sister. We went to a Chinese restaurant and then went back to the sister’s place for tea. Very soon, it was time to make our way to the station again for me to take my train.

In the train, I was sitting next to a German guy in his late 30’s whose first trip it was on the Eurostar. We had a nice on and off chat during the journey and I enjoyed that. He was obviously not gay and neither was he fancy-able; just a nice guy to talk to. This and other moment during the weekend has made me realise how much more confident I am with talking to strangers.

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