Taxi rides in Paris
It has been a trying time here in Paris. After a difficult day at work, there came an even more difficult task of finding a taxi driver to take me from my outside suburb to Porte de Clignancourt, for a train to the city centre. I eventually found one who then gave me a dismissive look fo scorn when I offered him a € 50 note to pay for the € 6 taxi ride. So, it was off first to Burger King, where there was a long queue, then to an Algerian-French bar for some smaller notes. A row of African women in colourful clothing were standing at the entrance to the metro station, while a Chinese man was cooking maize for them on a barbecue. The air was warm and the sky was dark, getting ready for a downpour.
It rained while I was underground, so it was a wet Chatelet which greeted me as I came out of one of the rabbit holes, trying to find my way to the Marais for a drink at our favourite bar in Paris, namely the Cox Bar. This did not disappoint, it was still Happy Hour, the beers were flowing and the pavement was teeming with punters. I ended up chatting to a supply teacher who had just come back to Paris from teaching in London, just as Fred was having a drink with his colleague back in Amsterdam, on his first week back at school. And to top it all, the charming Faycal behind the bar offered me a free beer to confirm that this really is an island of friendliness in the difficult city of Paris.
Eventually, it was time to go home and therefore to find a taxi. Another forty minute wait until a Tunisian taxi driver eventually stopped. We spoke as best as I could in French and he asked me which country I preferred from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen. I could not give him an answer as they were all brilliant in their different ways, so he asked me which felt the safest and I told him Syria. I thought I had better not tell him I had been to Morocco, as I ahve very mixed feelings about that place. Tunisia might be a nice place to go to though...