First up, I don't want to leave, but I fly out tomorrow. I kind of figured on the flight over that I'd have to come back, though I wasn't so sure the first day. I was actually thinking that I'd made a bit of a mistake. The walk from the train station to the hotel took me through some sketchy neighborhoods. I knew that it was an immigrant area (hence the 35 euros a night), and knew that there mst be some reason that the 10e arrondissiment wasn't on the tourist maps. Check for yourself, if you have a tourist map of Paris. There's I through IX, and there's XI and up. You probably didn't even notice it was missing, nor ever really wondered what that hole in the mp was between the Marais and Montmarte.
That hole is where I stay.
So I leave the train station, dodge a phalanx of Bosnian war widows begging for change, and start wandering in more or less the right direction. I passed through Pakistan, Algeria, Turkey, and Senegal. My first impressions were mixed. The North African men were hot, the Turkish sandwich I had decent (Food is incredible across the board in Turkey, but shockingly average outside), and I learned that the connection between black women, hair, and fashion isn't just an American thing - every woman in the area looked like Naomi Campbell.
I missed my street, and things got sketchy. I stopped in a park to eat my sandwhich, but moved on when I realized that the well dressed gentlemen in the park were drug dealers. I crossed the street to avoid a fight on the corner, I saw a man selling teenagers cell phones which he kept stashed in his trenchcoat, and saw what I'm sure was a chop shop behind an open gate.
And it wasn't even noon. I felt safe - in broad daylight. I wasn't sure what I was going to do at night.
I eventually did find a safe way here, luckily - going to bed early was not an option.
And I am too exhausted to type right now. Sorry, I'll try again in the morning. Today I did Versailles, went to the gym, had a few drinks with a guy I met, and then joined an Act-Up Protest. Sunday I spent eight hours at the Louvre then went to the disco for four. Saturday I wandered the city from Montmarte to Notre Dame and back, joined a March Against Machismo, then relaxed in the sauna for a couple hours. I'm frakkin beat.