15 Minutes of Insanity, Rugby and Human Rights Watch

Three anecdotes this week … all taking place in a 15-minute interval along rue de Rivoli in the Marais. I was sitting having a drink with a friend when I heard police sirens coming towards us from the Bastille. Seconds later, I saw the following:

– two police motorcycles, followed by
– two weather-beaten Perrier delivery trucks, followed by
– a police car with its door wide open and an officer hanging out of it holding the largest automatic weapon I have ever seen in my life.

I’ve tried for days to come up with a hypothesis as to what that scene could have been. And other than the French transporting their nuclear warheads across town in Perrier trucks, I couldn’t come up with anything.

Two minutes later, I walked across the street to a boulangerie to get some chouquettes (see photo).

Imagine my surprise when the lady bundled my half-dozen chouquettes in a bag and then yelled something (of which I only understood “game”) and proceeded to launch the bag in the air, over the counter and into my disbelieving hands. At Jerry’s Deli or the Southwest Airlines ticket counter this would be normal – but at a French boulangerie, where variety usually means something like switching between using 83 and 84 grains of salt per baguette, this was shocking. It brought a big smile to my face.

And just when I thought I could return to the planet earth, I re-crossed the street, re-sat down at the café and then noticed a rolled up mattress strategically placed high up in a big tree along rue de Rivoli.

All this within a 15-minute period …

For all the things that drive me crazy about living here, it’s my appreciation for the unpredictable, inexplicable and purely comedic that keeps me sane here.

On the photo front, I got to photograph the France vs Ireland Rugby World Cup match at the Stade de France.

I can’t say I have developed almost any appreciation for that sport but the event itself was highly entertaining. For more rugby images, click here: RUGBY WORLD CUP

And finally, I was happy to find out that I will be assisting Human Rights Watch doing their photography here in Paris. If you’ve never heard of them, check out their website at www.hrw.org. They’re a great organization and are launching their Paris office in a few weeks. More about this soon.

Two photos and a video of the week:

Street dining at Fauchon in Place de la Madeleine

Rugby World Cup statue at Gare Montparnasse


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on September 24, 2007 at 3:47 am

    The small round pastries look more like Machtah cakes. At least it’s nice to see the Red, White and Blue no matter whom it represents…


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