As I remarked to R. midway through dinner last night, as we sat in the courtyard of the house of a friend of a friend of a friend up in the 20th, listening to sporadic p?©tards exploding in the surrounding streets, it’s good to know that the French also have the national holiday of blowing shit up. We celebrated with a picnic, which was originally intended to be held in a park high above Paris, from which one could have seen the official fireworks had one gotten there early enough, but we decided we didn’t want to dine while being shoved around by la foule, and so ate and chatted in the calm of the courtyard, and then attempted to go out to see the feu d’artifice around 9.30 pm. This was, alas, impossible, as tout le monde had had the same brilliant idea, but about an hour sooner. After a panicky half hour or so (panicky on my part; I do not like crowds, not in the slightest, which I attribute to the story of my mother at Woodstock, which, remind me to tell you sometime), we wound up back at the friend-of-friend-of-friend’s house, but by that point, I was so exhausted that my ability to follow a rapid-fire French conversation had roughly disappeared. So R. and I headed home and slept in relative peace, interrupted only by the occasional minor explosion, which really was less annoying, actually, than the sewing machine engined scooters that seem to circle our block.
This morning, the streets are covered with the remnants of bottle rockets and other firecrackers, but aside from that, it’s just a quiet Sunday.