13 June 2010

A visit, a vacation, and vivacious vespertine vizards (part 12 of ?)

For the second time, I make a bad bus choice. I'd booked us tickets to
leave to go back to Paris around 3, having misunderstood Pat's
expressed wish to ARRIVE around 3. But I chose not to change the time,
telling Pat that the 5 hours at the Louvre he planned that evening
would only make me angry. We agree instead to have a relaxed morning
in Brussels, walk by and maybe through the botanical gardens on our
way to the bus, then when we get back to Paris catch the boat tour
we'd missed the other night.
Silly me, I'd forgotten we were no longer in a country where the rain
is completely predictable, and when it does rain you've no need to go
anywhere because everything shuts down anyway. The morning of day 6 is
cold and wet, and I have nothing to wear against the rain.
To slightly change a bad quote from an unmemorable movie, "I'm a Peace
Corps Volunteer. We don't plan, we improvise." Pat has the suit he
bought in Ouaga. That means he has a suit bag. A couple quick slits of
a knife for armholes, and voila, not only do I have rainwear, but it's
Armani. The most stylish piece of plastic I've ever worn.
While I'm no longer getting wet, our bags still are, so the rain blows
the botanical garden plan. Instead, we step into a mall, meaning both
the things I set out to do on day 1 without Pat I also ended up doing
with him (the other was McDonald's, remember?). We browse an
electronics store looking for a tip to a car charger he'd given me. No
We take a train again, figuring going one station over shouldn't be
that hard. It's not, though we've probably done it illegally: there
are no turnstyles there, so we just hang onto the undated tickets we'd
bought two days ago. I guess it works on an honors system? There are
machines to destroy used tickets, reinforcing that theory, but not too
many people seem to use them. Generally I'm an honest guy, and I
considered paying for another ticket, but in the end I decide that if
they want my money they're going to have to meet me halfway (to be

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