Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ahhh, Gay Paris! Ooo-la-la!

     So, here I sit…. Now, if I were English, I'd probably say, ‘I sat here’. Really? 
     Update: I have driven K.C. Wells and the hubby nuts with ‘lovely’ all week long. They are sick of it. Of course I don’t say it just once. I say it at least three or four, okay maybe five times, so they're really get sick of it. ‘Lovely! Isn't that lovely. Oh, lovelylovely. Aren't you lovely.’ I’m sure they are going to stop saying it completely when all is said and done. If so, my job is done. I figure if I'm going to be miserable, so should they. After all, they helped, right? Pfft, teach them to tease me about one of their own bloody countrymen getting that thing stuck in my head!

     Okay, now for Paris, or I should say Gay Paris. Without realizing it at the time, K.C. and I booked an apartment in the gay district in the heart of Paris. It has been a very long time since I've seen this many gay men in one area. HOT gay men at that. We both sit at the Open Café, having coffee in the mornings and cocktails in the evenings watching them as they pass by. It truly is a wonder we've not gotten whiplash as our heads spun about. At times I guess it looks as if we were watching a tennis match. Just so much to see, don’tcha know. Poor hubby. He has put up with so much.
Don't ya just love the T-Shirt?

     I must say, this has been a very productive trip for me. Did the book signing, saw things I've always wanted to see and ate so much pastry I may explode. The food here has been amazing. What I really enjoyed though, was going to the shops to buy groceries. The French have it so spot on. Small shops to get cheese, meats and then the bread. It is the way it should be. Ahhh Viva la France! 
     Of course I had to visit Pere Lachaise, probably one of the most famous cemeteries in the world. Of course I saw Jim Morrison’s grave, but I specifically went to see Frederic François Chopin. He has to be my all-time favorite composer. Yes, I even played one of his polonaises, while there, in tribute.

     I think one of the things I like most about Paris is the way they live. They seem so casual and laid back. They live life. It appears to me that they make time to live, if that makes any sense. Of course they work and do all the things like Americans do, but they stop work and go live by doing things you're supposed to do to be happy. 
     Let me see if I can explain a little better: As most of you know, I'm an early riser. When I wake up here, there is no one really moving about. The trashmen start about seven in the morning. There is nothing really moving around here at that time. I mean no traffic, no one really out walking. Nothing. All is quiet and calm. In Atlanta…hell, you'd be lucky not to get run over by that time of the morning.

    At eight or so, they are queuing up for their fresh bread and pastries. The cafes are open and people are sitting there having their morning coffees, reading the paper. Things really don’t start really getting what I'd call busy until nine!

Night time…again, something new for me. The French tend not to eat dinner till nine or ten in the evening, unless they have children. They tend to it eat earlier. Oh, and the kids here? Wow, what a difference. They are much better behaved than most of the ones I've witnessed in the states. Such a difference. (Not yours, Jackie. Yours are near perfect.) 
    Scarfs. That is something else you’ll see a lot of in Paris. Everyone wears them. Men and women. They make them look so chic. Of course I'd put one on and look like I was trying to hang myself or something. Funny thing about those Parisians, they can make anything look chic. Gotta say, they are some beautiful people. 
    Okay, so you know how I'm always preaching about doing something nice for others? Now I have proof and a witness that it works. One night, the first night, while walking down the street, coming back from the Open Café and several cocktails, the lovely Ms. K.C. Wells and I pass this young man on the street. He has a backpack and a cup out asking for money, as he sat in a doorway. I noticed that he kept rubbing his heel. It was almost raw from walking it seemed. The next night, again he wasn't there.        The second night, I had some change in my pocket. (Another peeve about you Europeans that I'll cover in a moment.) I tossed it in and kept going. I hate change in my pocket. The next night he wasn't there. The third night he was back. I had a little more change and I tossed it in his cup. 
     Thursday night he was back. I really had a load of change in my pocket. I told K.C. a few nights before that he reminded me of a character in one of her books, Gareth. He could easily have been this young man on the street. She gave me her change as well. It was quite a sum of money. I dumped all the change in his little cup and asked his name. Alexandre. 
     The following night, our last night in Paris and we passed him again. I didn't have any change to give him but he stopped us. He held out this cheap little phone and explained to Ms. Wells (since she speaks French) that because of the money we'd given him the night before he was able to get this little phone so he could get work. He'd also had a good meal. 
     He was smiling and excited. A huge difference from the man the night before who seemed downtrodden and looked hopeless. It wasn't all that much money to me or her, but it was huge for this young man who now had a fighting chance of getting a job and perhaps getting off the streets. It didn't take much, but it was enough to give him hope and a hand up, not a hand out. So you see? A little kindness can make a big difference in someone else’s life. Made Ms. Wells cry. 
     Okay, now for the pet peeve of the week. You Europeans have it all wrong! In the UK you have five pound notes and nothing smaller in paper. In Euros the same thing. Don’t you know there are strippers out there who are starving!? I mean really. How are you supposed to tip a stripper with coins? Huh? There’s no place to tuck the damn things. And then there is the issue of it wearing your pockets out. I mean, come on people. There is only so much change a man can carry. It bulges your pants out, and not in the right way. So, y'all need to get this taken care of. Get more paper money. Save a stripper! 
     I gotta give a special shout out to our favorite waiter at the Open Café, Nicolas. He was great. Super sweet young man. He didn’t make me feel like the strange foreigner that I was. He has a great smile and a personality that will take him far. If y'all ever get to Paris and go to the Open Café, look him up. Tell him hey from the crazy American, Max Vos. “Hey, Nick!”
Nick from Open Cafe

     Ahhh, Paris. Perhaps one day I will be lucky enough to come back. I've enjoyed your history, your culture and your FOOD! Maybe one day… I will return. (No, I did not get laid, you dirty minded pervs. I know you were thinking it too, so don't even try!) 
     INSERT: Why the blog was a day late. Finally, back in the UK. It was one of the worst travel days I've experienced in a long while. Flight delayed four hours. Bad airport food. Bad attitude of some passengers. Running like crazy to catch the ferry. Lots of traffic. I was so done in by the time we arrived I begged to go out for a pint or four! UGH. I was whooped. 
     I am lucky enough to be going back to the Isle of Wight. A few days R&R with the lovely, simply lovelylovely, lovely, K.C. Wells. Then we will be off to London for Gay Pride. Yippee, another major city to explore. I hope my feet hold up just a little bit longer. I'm told there are more urinals to exploit! YAY!
Have no idea who this is but what would a post be without at least one naked guy, right?

     Tune in next week to see what I find out. 
     Once again, it is time to remind you to go and do something else for someone else. Remember, you get more out of it than they do. Trust me. It’s true. 
     Have a grrrreat week, y'all! 


  1. gosh max this was awesome!! I adore your posts and to see paris through your eyes :) We will be going next year with some friends and I will make sure to remember this :) hugs Dani