People watching in Paris

pink socks top

I love to watch people. How they walk, how they move, what they’re wearing and where they’re from have always fascinated me. Usually I just drink it all in and enjoy, rather like watching a film. Occasionally though, somebody surprises me (like intergalactic Grandma) and I’m shaken out of my reverie. This takes quite some doing as I have been consciously people watching for at least fifteen years, everywhere I’ve been.

I’m not sure if this man was a scout leader, something that only ocurred to me when I got the photo onto a bigger screen and saw the inverted triangle on his t-shirt and payed more attention to his hat.

Think about it though, what do you expect him to be wearing below the knees?

Think hard. Harder.

Here you go:

pink socks

Now I BET you weren’t thinking of pink knee-high socks and orange shoes!

Paris in the Spring

It’s a cliche that had my eyes rolling to the heavens years before I even had an inkling that I’d one day live in Paris. Some friends thought that Paris in the spring equated a romantic experience for as long as you were there. Cue more eye rolling (whether actually done or not, I don’t know, but the urge was certainly strong!). I would argue that romance could be found in many different places and touching down for a long weekend in a city could not possibly mean that romance would flourish – and by extension, dissipate upon departure.

I still think that.

But..and it’s a big but, Paris IS delightful in the spring. Even more so when you’ve suffered the grey, black, beige and perhaps, just perhaps navy, Parisian uniforms of winter, coupled with the grinding grey skies. Paris in winter is not recommended (Christmas shopping break excepted).

Green buds start appearing on naked trees, birds begin to arrive and mornings are accompanied by birdsong. More than that, the sun makes this museum city come alive and vibrancy pokes holes through its unwavering facade of stuffiness.

I may not want to stay here indefinitely, but I have to say that I do love living in Paris in the spring.

One way or another, The Mogama'a will get you

In what seemed nothing short of a miracle after the past couple of days, I arrived in The Mogama’a, reached Window Number Four with no problem and my passport was sitting waiting to be collected.

Walking on air at the thought of beating the system and not having to return to the building for a whole, entire year, I was struck by a fleeting notion that I was too happy and that this was too good to be true. I thought I’d better check that the stamp was there. Rumaging in my bag, I pulled out my newly reclaimed little book and yes, sure enough the stamp was there. I closed the passport. Then I thought I’d better check that it is valid for seven entries, as that was what I’d asked for. Cue the defeated smile. In too much of a rush to leave yesterday, I didn’t bother turning over the form to read the Arabic and check the two read the same. My mistake then that I entered the number seven onto the line marked “How many times?”. It should have read either “How much time?” or “How many months?”.

Yep, I have a year’s multiple entry visa that expires in July with the multiple entries expiring in January.