Jet Lag

Bad Boys on Pont de l'Alma

Getting over jet lag is as much a matter of will as of inevitability. That determination can be a bit hard to summon when it is time to roll out of bed in the morning or sleepiness descends in the mid-afternoon. Especially, when you are four.

Not surprisingly, Tenzing is wide awake, and quite chatty, every night when most of the rest of Paris is sound asleep.

Last night, Betsy decided to make interesting use of her forced insomnia: she’d take Zing out to walk around Paris in the wee hours. Yoo-Mi and I were sleeping in the living room of the apartment when they wandered out for their nocturnal adventure. Zing couldn’t resist inviting us along. Yoo-Mi was somehow sufficiently awake, and in full presence of mind, to decline his kind insistence; so he turned his magnanimity on me.

“Markie, do you want to go see the Eifel Tower with us?” he asked. “No thanks little man,” I replied. “Are you sure?” “No, you tell me all about it tomorrow.” “Do you want to go now?” he persisted.“ “Ummmm… no.” “How about now?” “Okay, little man. Let me get some pants on.”

The Marais was quite busy when we left the apartment at 3:00 a.m. The Rugby World Cup is on here in France, and the streets were still full of post-game fervor. The face-painted fans of Les Blues, were flushed with victory on the night and the Irish presumably disappointed in defeat, though you would never notice. Wining Frenchmen and vanquished Irishmen evince approximately the same degree of life-satisfaction after a few beers.

The Paris metro had ceased running hours earlier, so we hopped a night bus toward the Place de la Concorde, from which we would proceed by foot to the Jardins du Trocadero, and across the Seine to the Eifel Tower. We were disappointed to find that the lights on the Tower had already been turned off for the evening. Apparently the Mayor of Paris was unaware that Zing and several dozen small bands of well-lubricated Irish visitors were still up for a bit of sightseeing.

Night Bus through Paris

We decided to hoof-it back to the Marais via the indirect route of the Left Bank. The Seine was glassy smooth as we crossed and the night temperature absolutely perfect as we set off down the Quai D’ Orsay. Not far into our homeward journey, we came across a skimpily dressed prostitute engaged in a flirty conversation with two fully-uniformed policemen, sitting in their parked squad-car. After a few moments, she called to three of her colleagues, who were spaced at intervals farther down the sidewalk, something to the effect of, “Hey they’ll give us a ride!” The four squeezed into the back seat, and moments later departed in the unlikely company of these chivalrous public servants.

We continued on until we reached the Ille de la Citte, and headed toward the illuminated towers of Notre Dame. On the edge of the plaza, we were approached by a blissfully inebriated celebrant of Les Blues who was fascinated by Zing’s choice of attire: a green and white traditional rugby shirt, mildly suggestive of support of the Ireland Rugby team. “D’où êtes-vous?” he inquired of Tenzing. “Nous sommes Américains,” answered Betsy. “Personne n’est parfait,” he grinned. He serenaded Zing with a rousing, if slightly atonal chant of “Allez les Blues!”, bid us goodnight, and left us alone in the silent plaza.

Allez les Blues Zing at Notre Dame

In a few minutes, we had crossed onto the Ille Saint Louis, then back to the Rive Droite, and safely home just past 5:00 a.m. Tenzing toasted his midnight adventures with a glass of juice and a shortbread cookie before falling sound asleep, and dozing peacefully until mid-morning.

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2 Responses to “Jet Lag”


  1. 1 Hilary 23 September 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Oh my- how I miss that little guy! What an adventure. Thinking of you all.

  2. 2 therealpotato 27 September 2007 at 11:31 am

    Now THAT is an adventurous way to see Paris! Sounds like a blast. :)


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