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It Will Never Be Normal

By Tory Hoen

I've been at a loss for what to blog about lately. For a moment, I started to think my life here had become too normal to write about. But as usual, I was wrong. I have simply become accustomed to the absurdity of it all... and now, the absurdity itself has become normal.

I need to remember that the frequency with which absurd things happen does not make them less noteworthy.

Last weekend, I was caught far from home sometime between 2:00-5:30am... I don't know when exactly, but the point is, the metro was closed. So I caught a taxi and, as often happens, was treated to the wisdom of the driver on the way home. Upon pulling up to my door, the taxi driver noted its discreet appearance. "You're smart," he said. "The only way to live happily is to live in hiding."

I'm still trying to figure out what that means, but apparently I'm doing something right.

This past weekend, the strange encounters continued. On Friday night, I made the responsible decision to go home early but, on my way, I was lured into what I can only describe as a vampire's lair. It was actually the fondue restaurant below my apartment, but it was all dark and the proprietor was looking more Draculesque than ever. Contrary to what I had previously thought, he's not really from Transylvania, nor is he from Armenia, nor Greece, but from Albania. Tricky! Many glasses of wine later, I'd learned more about Albania--and the fondue business--than I ever thought I would know. We even reminisced about the flood, which had threatened to sabotage our neighborly relations when I first moved into this apartment 8 months ago. Apparently fondue heals all wounds with time.

And finally, on Saturday night, I was waiting for the metro when I heard a lovely little voice coming from across the tracks.... yes, a drunk person. He was dancing and singing a song that went "C'est le weekend, c'est le weekend, c'est le weekend..." I can only assume that he was not only the performer, but the composer of this song. There was a free-form dance that went along with it, and whenever anyone acknowledged him, he would stop both song and dance--letting the anticipation build--until finally giving in and resuming the act. As the train came, I considered letting it pass just to marvel a bit longer, but no need. If I've learned anything in Paris, it's that there is always another crazy person waiting just around the corner.

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