jeudi, octobre 02, 2008

Luis braves Paris traffic and gets drenched

Work, again, was busy but I can feel things tapering off. I managed to completely spoil my diet during the day, thanks to some free food kicking around. There had been a conference that day and the director had ordered a ton of very nice hors d’oeuvres and the like, and there weren’t enough people at the conference to eat it all. So, of course, they brought in the grad students to eat up the leftovers. I certainly didn’t complain, considering that I had planned to skip lunch, but I felt kinda gross and overfed for the rest of the afternoon. I also sat in on a wine and cheese tasting hosted that afternoon, so I was pretty damn full by the end of the day. Mind you, I was pretty impressed with myself. I drank 5 glasses of wine during the tasting and didn’t even notice. My wine tolerance is back!

After my success with Vélib last night, I decided to try my luck getting home from work. This was a considerably longer trek, but I was heartened by the fact that there was a system of dedicated bike paths that led from my door, along the Canal St. Martin / Boulevard Richard Lenoir, past Bastille and along the river to where I work. Besides, the trip would be mostly along flat terrain.

So, at around 18h00, I headed over to the nearest Vélib stand and grabbed a bike. The map I had consulted said that there were bike paths, but it wasn’t clear about whether they were one-way or two-way paths. The bike paths themselves had obviously been built over time in a piecemeal way, so I sometimes found myself having to backtrack, cross over to the other side of the street, or just join the insane automobile traffic.

All of this was complicated by the fact that we were apparently experiencing some sort of flash hurricane in Paris, which began about 5 minutes into my bike ride. First the wind nearly flayed the skin off my face (and nearly threw me off the bike and into traffic), then the rain started pelting down into my eyes, soaking my sweater and my bag, and then the rest of the ride was a lovely combination of both.

So, the weather was not on my side and I still didn’t know the route (and I nearly had a heart attack trying to go around Bastille at rush hour with wind and rain on my little bike), but I still made it home in 30 minutes. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make better time in the future! Hooray for bike transport, I tell ya.

With the rain still pouring down, I got some bread and some eggs and then dragged myself upstairs and tried to dry off. I spent the rest of the evening FINALLY having a quiet night at home. Yay!

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