Days 19 & 20. Paris

chloe and emeline

Sunday the 19th was rest day, I didn’t even get out of the house. I had a quiche at noon with Romain and his girlfriend and in the evening I had a soup that I received as a gift for my trip a few days ago. Besides that I just wrote for this blog, edited some photos and tried to repair the Windows on my laptop, but actually I think I made it worse and lost my first 3 days of shooting from Amsterdam. If I were at home, normally in a few hours I would fix the Windows and recover the lost data. But on the road, without money and without a PC of my own, it’s kind of impossible to fix it. I didn’t give up yet, but there are few chances I’ll get back those 3 days of shootings.

Monday started well, Romain and I went out to shoot in the morning for his selfie project. We took some really cool pictures and then I went to see Chloe. Chloe calls herself a parasite, as she has no job yet and lives at her lawyer’s place. She’s 19, she’s a good photographer and she loves to dance. After talking on Facebook about shooting together, both of us modeling for the other, we said we could meet at a free concert in Chatelet. Romain was a photographer at that concert, so I went there. I don’t know how Chloe and I found each other without any phone calls or text, we just happened to recognize each other in an ocean of hundreds of people. We danced for a while and when the concert ended I hooked up with Romain. Before leaving we said we would meet and shoot. On Monday we saw each other again, in a big hurry. She was going to leave her resumes at some shops, I was going home to charge my camera and leave to shoot Emeline.

Emeline is a 23 year old actress, works as a production distributor and as an actress, stage and film. We had a nice walk with a lot of laughs, took some pictures together and then went out for some pizzas. We headed home after a great evening and then I had my third encounter with the French controllers on the metro. My first experience was with a guy who didn’t believe I wasn’t French because he said my French was perfect, even though I just know a few words. My second one was on the train to Saint Cloud and this last one was with a guy who wanted to call the police because I was using a half price ticket that Jim gave me and that ticket was only for children. I tried to explain him that it was a mistake and that I didn’t even know what kind of ticket it was, but for the exigence of the French officials excuses are not important. I told him that I could leave the metro station, as I didn’t even embark on the train, but he didn’t want to hear about that. I had to pay 33 euros or go to the police station. Telling him about my project and how I had no money didn’t matter at all. My ticket was not good. I congratulated him for his vigilance and for being a good-hearted man for calling the police on a guy that made a mistake, I told him that I hope he does the same for the guys that beg, vomit or piss in the metro and I just turned my back on him and left. I could hear him yelling in his walkie-talkie that a white male is leaving the scene of the crime, alerting the policemen to come faster. I hurried through the labyrinth of corridors in the Paris metro and jumped on the first train that was just arriving. I got off at the next stop, got out of the metro and started walking.

On my one hour walk back home I was smiling, thinking how silly the authorities can be. They are silly in their vigilance with normal people, while there are hundreds of homeless everywhere; at night the city smells like piss (even the French piss on the street, not only the immigrants) and they have recently suffered dramatic attacks against the safety of their citizens. I agree that the law has to be respected, but are they really putting their energy in the right place? In a city invaded by strangers, can you bring peace and calm without a little understanding? But who am I to talk? A Romanian guy without money pretending to be a child just to get a ride on the metro.

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