21 October 2009

The will to power

Our trip to Paris has been flirting with disaster since arriving. There was a problem with our hotel reservation that ended in us getting a really miserable room in little India in Paris, but only losing 120 euro to even have this place to stay and another 25 euro on the worst cab ride I have ever been on. We went out looking for some place to eat last night and walked for about 15 minutes, didn't see anyone who looked remotely French, and passed scores and scores of Halal/ Indian/ Bangla cafes before thinking, where the hell are we.

The room we were in only had one working light and not bathtub/ no soap... I was thinking, holy hell this is going to be miserable. And on top of that Yoko got sick, Mei was screaming...

This morning, we got up, had the continental breakfast, and thought things looked better even though Yoko was still feeling sick. We packed all our shit up, opened the hotel door and... rain. At this point, I was thinking we were going to end up in the hotel room all day, but we put the rain cover on the buggy and pressed on.

We went to a market near La Chapelle, where we are staying and that was nice. Then we got on the metro and fought up and down the stairs with the kids and buggy, with the goal of getting to St. Michel/ Notre Dame.  We succeeded in getting there and things started to turn around. It was raining, but not bad enough that you couldn't walk in it. Yoko was feeling sick, but not sick enough to go home. So we went to Notre Dame, which is beautiful and couldn't find a toilet so Naomi had to pee in the park, which she was happy with. We walked up the Seine all the way to the Eiffel Tower which was nice enough. It took like an hour and half, but we enjoyed ourselves and Yoko and I got a chance to talk, which we haven't in a while. Stopped and Naomi peed in the bushes again.

On the way to the Tower, the camera broke and I was standing there in the rain thinking, this has been such a disaster, but then the thought of Nietzsche's will to power, the ubermensch overcame me and I thought, We are going to press on. Regardless.

I had this sense again as I was pushing the buggy in the rain through the people corral at the Tower trying to get it through the narrowest of places and everyone looking at me like, 'Just go home and come back in 10 years.' I had it again as we were holding up the line trying to fold it up.

But then, we got to the top and out of the rain and there was a toilet and it stopped raining a little and then completely and we stood up there for like two hours just walking around, looking at the famous sites, drinking fabulous coffee.

We came down and it wasn't raining anymore and we took the train back to the French quarter. Had fabulous food. A fabulous walk around.  I keep trying to speak French with people and they keep giving up and speaking in English.

The key to enjoying this is realising that it's me, the wife, and two small kids. It's not just me, or me and Yoko, 0r me and someone else. It's all of us together. And at this point, we have two choices in our life: stay at home and not do stuff like this, or try to do stuff like this and realise that it is going to be harder. But worse: just harder. And when I realised that, it seems like everything fell into place.

Tomorrow we are going to hit the Louvre and see my second supervisor from the OU who happens to be here. And eat more delicious bread and laugh when we see a huge staircase instead of cursing. The key, I heard someone say on the TV, is: When it's good, it's fun; when it's bad, it's funny.