I left off with TJ and I heading toward an unknown guys apartment, where we were to sleep for the next two nights.
We arrived at the Metro stop around 7 and waited. As we sat scoping out each person walking by, we did a lot of “oh god, I hope it isn’t him.” After about 5 minutes, Guillaume walked up. Let’s just say, totally normal.
We walked the 3 short blocks to his apartment. TJ and Guillaume talked about music and Djing that night. Guillaume was who arranged for TJ to DJ in Paris, so they briefly discussed the details. When we arrived at his apartment, to our surprise, Guillaume had made us a key to his apartment and was letting us stay there alone. He arranged for himself to sleep at his girlfriend’s house for the two days.
We dropped our stuff off and went with Guillaume to go get dinner and then head over to TAPE Bar where TJ was Djing that night. The bar was awesome. It was like hanging out in Seattle but with a bunch of skinny, beautiful, French speaking people. And they made the best, seriously, the best mojitos ever. We met two of Guillaume’s friend, Gautier and Judith, both of which were awesome. Judith ended up having to leave early, but Gautier and I talked for the remainder of the evening. At the end of the night, Gautier caught a cab with us back to Guillaume’s apartment and offered to show us around Paris the next day.
TJ and I woke the next morning, walked across the street to get a croissant and then called Gautier to meet up. We spent our final day in Paris walking all over with Gautier. I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend my final day in Paris just wandering around, but it turned out to be one of the best days there. Gautier showed us all sorts of things. We go to go inside the high school, he took us to the best sandwich place in Paris, was patient while TJ looked for records, and took us to the best street in Paris. All in all, Gautier was awesome.
That night TJ had to DJ at a club at 3 in the morning. Guillaume came along and made sure we got set up okay but then had to take off due to school. We wouldn’t see Guillaume again, we were leaving at 8 the next morning. But he wished us well and said Goodbye. Gautier, however, stayed the entire time. Something about him didn’t require a lot of work. It wasn’t like hanging out with someone and having to try really hard to find things in common or things to say. We just "were" you could say. We stood on the side while TJ djed, not talking, but not weird or awkward by the fact that words weren’t being shared.
We left soon after TJ djed, Gautier took a cab with us back to Guillaume’s and said good bye. We slept three hours, woke up, walked across the street to buy our last baguette and croissant, grabbed our stuff, slid the key under the door, and headed to the train station.
We slept on the train back to London, slept most of the afternoon in London, and woke the next morning and headed to the airport to fly home. I felt fine leaving London, I didn’t feel that attached, but leaving Paris broke my heart. I love the city, the lights, the slow, quality of life. I love the kindness we encountered everywhere. No one was awful or rude. People say Parisians hate Americans but that’s just not true. Parisians hate tourist and so do I for that matter. Who goes to another city and spends there time riding around on a tour bus with other English speaking people and the rest of the time waiting in line? Lame. The people is Paris were kind. And I use the word Kind not Nice. Nice is boring and ordinary, but Kind involves care and compassion. Guillaume and Gautier both went far above and beyond being nice. They both went out of their way to make us comfortable and familiar. We experienced such a different side of Paris because of their kindness, and that is irreplaceable and I will forever be grateful.
All in all, I cannot wait to go back. Fingers crossed – next year in June. Perhaps Paris and Berlin. I hear Berlins got stuff going on.