29 July 2009

Paris, Day Thirteen

On day thirteen, we tied up loose ends.

We visited....


We walked along...


We nibbled on...

Oh, the pigeon story:

On our last evening in Paris, I witnessed something unusual. We were walking down a café-filled street near our hotel when, in the distance, a sudden movement caught my eye. It was a falling pigeon, although I didn’t immediately recognize it as such. The bird dropped like a stone from the top of a building, glanced off a dormer roof partway down, and landed on its back on a small outdoor table at which a middle-aged couple was dining.

This all took place perhaps 50 meters away – far enough that it played out like a silent movie. I could see everything that happened, but it all occurred in pantomime. The plummeting pigeon landed amidst the dinner dishes in the middle of a small two-person café table. The occupants of the table threw themselves back in surprise. The bird fluttered off the table and into the lap of the wildly gesticulating woman (I’m not making this up). She frantically tossed it back onto the table, where her inexplicably calm male companion attempted to subdue the flopping creature. The bird continued to flop about on the tabletop until the man was able to get both hands around it.

By this time, the scene had aroused the attention of nearby diners, who watched with some interest to see what the man would do with the disruptive bird. He glanced from side to side, holding the pigeon at arm’s length and taking tentative steps away from the table. Finally, he kneeled down and released the bird on the sidewalk. To everyone’s surprise, the bird flew away.

Having an airborne rat suddenly and unexpectedly land on my dinner would be upsetting to me. I thought the man handled the situation with considerable aplomb. As for the bird, who knows? Did it momentarily forget how to fly? Do birds really have to pay attention to what they’re doing? I never gave them that much credit.

We had dinner and walked back to the hotel. And then we packed.

Twenty four hours of travel ahead.... more details when we get home.


Jack Aiello said...

Hey guys, I left you a comment a while back, but I guess it didn't take.

I had some more free time to read (and re-read) your posts. I just hope to get to France one day soon, but I just have this nagging urge to see more of the U.S. before I go outside the country again. I don't think it's possible since my dad is guilting me into visiting him in Italy this summer. Care to join? :)

Steve-n-Melissa said...

Wish we could! We would kill to spend some time in Ponza, but Europe is not in the cards for us this summer.