Blitzkrieg to Paris

As I’ve mentioned before, my job rules. Technically, my daytime job is delivering bicycles for a shop near here, but every now and then the local TV station calls me to ask if I can fill in for a couple of days. If you’ve read the Race Track Story, you’ll know that I’m a cameraman and that I sometimes get to go places. Awesome places.

This time, it was Paris. I’ll say that again: Paris. As in, Paris, capitol of France. Exactly. My job rules.

Anyways, I was filling in for their regular cameraman last week, when Ally, the reporter I also mentioned in the other story, asked me if I could work on Monday and Tuesday. It kind of went like this:
Ally: ‘Rutger, you free on Monday and Tuesday?’
Me: “Yeah, sure…why?”
Ally: ‘Good, we’re going to Paris.’
Me: “Cool. Wait, what!?”

And so we went to Paris. Better yet, we went to Paris to film a fashionshow. Apparently, a designer from Tilburg, my hometown, was the only Dutch designer showing his collection in Paris during the Fashionweek. Being the local newsteam, we had to go up there and film it all. Gee, what a drag, right?

We left on Monday morning, around 9:30am. After a long drive (Yes, we took the car. w00t Europe.) we arrived at the hotel around 15:30 (Or 3:30pm, for you USA-ians.) After we checked in and put our stuff into our room, we ventured into the city.
Our hotel was near the Bastille, so we started there. After that, we walked along the Seine towards the Notre Dame. After that the Louvre, followed by the Jardin des Tuileries. That lead us to Place de la Concorde. Instead of going straight ahead, which would’ve taken us to the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe, we took a left towards the Assemblee Nationale. Then we walked past the Musee de L’armée, after which we headed for the Eiffel tower. It was about 19:00 (7pm) when we got there, so we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel.
We walked back pretty much along the same way, except this time we also saw the Ecole Militaire. Also, instead of taking the ‘scenic route’ we took on the way there, we just stuck to the Seine this time.
It was about 21:30 (9:30pm) when we got back at the Bastille, and we hadn’t eaten yet. Soon, we found a Quick (kind of like McDonalds), where we ate some burgers. When we got back to the hotelroom it was about 22:00 (10pm), and we were tired as Hell. We spent the better part of six hours walking along the streets of Paris, and I was carrying a camera and tripod all the time. Serious stuff.

The next day we had to be at the other side of Paris, where some greenhouses were located along the Avenue de Gordon Bennett. To make up for missing it the day before, we took the car and headed for the Champs Elysees. We noticed that the traffic in Paris is random and dangerous when we entered the city the day before. The Peripherique (roundway all around Paris) is chaotic as fuck, and the people drive haphazardly. Though nothing we saw compared to the Champs Elysees and the roundabout that led us around the Arc de Triomphe. My God, it’s a miracle we made it out in one piece.
After looking around a bit we found the street where we needed to be. We went inside the greenhouse where the show was being held, set up our equipment and waited for the show to start.
We waited for about 45 minutes when it started. It lasted 12 minutes. There were a couple of models, and there were 24 dresses to be shown. 12 minutes and it was over. We went backstage to interview the designer, Jan Taminiau, and when we were done with that, we headed for home.
I drove the largest part of the way back, including half of the Peripherique. It was awesome. French drivers are insane. They cut you off and give you an attitude when you honk at them. It didn’t take long for me to adapt, and pretty soon I was pretty much making Ally nervous by weaving in and out of trafficlanes like an idiot. Vive la France!

We made it back home safely though. I drove way too fast, but we made good time that way. Driving very fast (I think my average speed hovered around 160 km/h) is tiring though, so near Brussels Ally took over. I got back home around 20:30, satisfied, but tired as Hell.

All in all, it was awesome. I mean, you can’t go to Paris and not enjoy it. Standing in front of the Notre Dame and the Louvre was impressive. I’ve been to Paris once before, but I didn’t remember much of it. The flash-visit made me appreciate the city even more. I can’t wait ’till I have a few days for myself, I’ll definately be going back there to take my time and look around. For instance, I didn’t get the chance to check out Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur, or the Pere Lachaise cemetary (That’s the one where Jim Morrison is buried). That’s the only regret: not having enough time to truly enjoy the city.

But Hell, I got to go to Paris for two days, and I got paid for it. I love my job!

Edit: Click here to see the newsitem I filmed.

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~ by freudianzombie on July 4, 2007.

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