lundi, mai 21, 2007

Carla&Friends Day 3: Luis does Laundry

On the way to work, I got a call from owner of the apartment my sister and her friends were renting, telling me that she would drop by the apartment later to check on the washer/dryer, and would call for the repairman if need be. In the meanwhile, my clothes were still stuck in there and I had a pile of dirty clothes and nearly no underwear. Yay.

I dragged my butt to work and got a fair bit done (mostly in the way of tending to IT emergencies), and then headed home. On the way back, I heard from my sister that the repairman would be coming by Friday morning, so that means that I won't be seeing that batch of clothes until Friday at the earliest. With that in mind, I headed home and started making a Herculean effort of catching up on all my laundry with the crappy machines available in my building. The good news is that few people seem to do their laundry in the early afternoon on a Monday, so I was able to get most of my laundry done in only a few hours--without the usual bloodsport for dryers.

I kept myself locked up at home until I got a decent amount of work done, while Carla took the girls out to L'As du Falafel for some of their delicious falafel spéciale. At around 22h00, DJ and I headed out to Place des Vosges and met Carla for a drink (the other two were staying in). I usually go to Café Hugo when I'm on Place des Vosges, but the service I got the last time I was there was crappy enough that I was motivated to try something else. We tried a café-resto called Ma Boulogne on the other side of the square, but as we ordered our drinks, we realized that the prices were insane. A kir was 5€, and it was mostly syrup and very little wine. Realizing that none of us had brought cash, I ran out to the nearest bank machine. This was a bit of an ordeal in itself, as the first bank machine I found was apparently out of order. By the time I had done the circuit of Le Marais and returned with cash, Carla and DJ were pretty ready to finish our drinks and move back to Café Hugo. We hung out there for a good while, drinking champagne and relaxing, until about 1h00. After walking Carla back to her place, DJ and I walked up to rue de Bretagne and caught the night bus back to our place.

On the night bus back, DJ and I witnessed one of those amusing moments of Paris-ness. A seemingly uptight man was reading the newspaper quietly when an apparently drunk and definitely "eccentric" man sauntered onto the bus and sat down next to him. This other man, who was wearing an admiral's cap and a loud primary-colour blazer, started cheerfully talking to the man next to him, ignoring the other's closed body language. Nonetheless, but the time DJ and I were getting off the bus, the two were chatting and the uptight guy was taking a picture of the nutty one. I've noticed before that there is a generally higher tolerance for the milder forms of mental and personality disorders. In fact, as my sister has pointed out, French psychiatric definitions are such that people like him are usually understood as "odd" or "eccentric," rather than insane. It's not an illness that necessarily needs quarantine and treatment, but a variant of norm that simply needs to some accomodation. Now, if only the many schizotypal folks in North America and the rest of the world could enjoy such tolerance.

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