(I wrote this about four days ago but quite frankly I am tired and full of croissants so deal with it.)
Today I saw a French pimp, and I mean a pimp. Alex thinks that he was just black and coordinated, but that lime green top hat, cane, and matching shoes knows different. Not being a very worldly person, I have never seen a sterotype of a pimp before. It was everything I could have hoped for and more.
Not ten feet later I saw a homeless man and his son sleeping in the alcove of one of the nicer buildings in Montmarte. They were hidden under puffy winter jackets, the only indication of their age from two pairs of shoes that stuck out from beneath the bulk. The homeless of Paris sleep during the day, or remain stationary in doorways of closed off buildings, their clothes dull and shabby against the backdrop of remarkable coloured wonders that have been carved to perfection. In that way, Paris is a constantly rotating mass of contrary images. In the heart of it, where postcard images are captured and shared with the rest of the world, there are mostly just Roma to contend with. But outside the central tourist attractions exist a world remarkably familiar. In some ways, it is like being back in North America. People are just as forgotten on the streets of Paris as they are on the streets of Calgary.
We’ve seen a lot these last eight days, and as today is Christmas Eve we plan on taking it easy. I’ll have more to say about Versaille, the Louvre, Musee D’Orsonwellees, nearly getting my pocket picked and McDonalds in a few hours.