Telling it how it is

Eiffel TowerYesterday on my way home from a lovely day out test-navigating a new tour in the 11th with my friend Barbara (Stitching Up Paris; needlework tours) I had my first decidedly unpleasant experience on the Metro.

There are often odd events, odd people, a few unsavoury characters, pick-pockets and the like on the Metro so you need to keep your wits about you, but I haven’t felt scared or unsafe.  Riding on the train I was minding my own business, thinking about the day – amongst several places we had visited were two gorgeous knitting and yarn boutiques, one with a super range of Italian yarns and the other with several different French yarns, and a gorgeous theatrical costume workshop – and reflecting on our conversation analysing the cultural differences thrown up in the public reaction and media reporting of the amorous dalliances of messieurs Hollande (President, France) Clinton (ex President USA) and Brown (Mayor, Auckland NZ).

Somewhere in amongst that stream of thought I remember noticing a tall young man brush past our seats and stand at the nearby exit.  I could smell alcohol and, out of the corner of my eye, noticed he was holding a half-full bottle of wine.

Suddenly he launched into a tirade, much of which I could not understand.  What I did understand is unprintable here.  Everyone kept their heads down, avoiding eye contact while the tirade went up a gear to a shouting abusive rant before finally morphing into a rap-style musical commentary on everything wrong with us, his listeners, until eventually he stumbled off after about 3 stops.  The woman opposite me in our 4-seat bay risked nervous glances over her right then left shoulder and I confirmed he had gone.  She sighed a relieved oh la la and said how afraid she had been.  Just as well I didn’t understand it all; I wasn’t terribly alarmed at the time or later.

Sacre CoeurSo that is how it is; on any day there is good stuff and not so good; that’s life anywhere.  Make of it what you will.  The pleasure of a day out with a friend exploring fascinating craft workshops and yarn stores cannot be undone by a drunken boorish lout.

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One thought on “Telling it how it is

  1. Sorry you had this experience, it’s one that you could well do without, even if no real harm came of it. The big problem is that people do exactly that: avoid eye contact for fear of making things worse, but once in a while things do get worse and then it’s too late. We don’t like large cities or undergrounds – or perhaps only in Tokyo which was like being on another planet, everyone was so considerate.

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