We are stopped at the exit by a soldier, weapon slung across his chest, who informs us that there is an unattended package being examined to ensure that it isn’t an explosive device. He looks young, but his eyes reveal an experience beyond his years. Everyone around us remains calm, seeming to accept what has become the new norm for international travel in many parts of the world. We circle around to another exit, find the taxi stand, and soon we are en route to Paris.
Spencer and I have both been here many times, however the thrill of a Parisian cab ride never gets old. The conversation is boisterous, speed limits and lane markers are ignored as often as they are followed, and in no time at all we are at our Air B’n’B for the week.
I make the mistake of sitting down for a few minutes and the fatigue hits immediately. I have been up for 19 hours at this point, drained by the 10 hour flight and the rigours of travel. We hit the streets of Paris, ostensibly to find food and explore, but for me it really is just about staying awake right now. You have to power through that first day, forcing yourself to absorb the 9 hour time difference and adjust your clock right away.
I walk the streets of Paris, streets I have walked many times in the past, without focus or intent. My camera somehow still makes it up to my eye though, my subconscious seeing photos even when I am not.
We walk for hours, shooting well into dusk, and then finally we make our way back home. Tomorrow, after a good night’s sleep, the week begins for real.
I can’t wait.