Final Thoughts From Lille

Children:  Sitting outside Beaux Arts, a two-or-three year old girl on a tiny bike came perilously close to the stairs.  She seems oblivious to her peril.  I shout incoherently and wave her back.

She stops.  Looks at me.  Then advances closer to the edge.

I make a move towards her, afraid she’ll fall.

She stops.  Looks at me.  Smiles with the cutest form of pure mischievous evil you can imagine, and advances closer to the edge again.

Her smile says, “Dance, monkey, dance!”

My eyes narrow.  I do NOT dance.  She goes closer and close and, indeed, goes over the edge, but in a completely controlled way, feet firmly planted on the ground, her tire goes down one step.  Bored with the fact that she cannot instill terror in me, she then lifts the bike up and scooches away.

News: CNN news has been showing the SAME programs every night we were here.  If it wasn’t for the very brief updates on events every hour, I’d swear the same six programs were on a loop because America had been destroyed.  I mean it’s the SAME six programs.  Every night.  The same on Pakistan, the same show on yacht racing, the same show on Kosovo, the same episode of The Daily Show… it’s like someone told CNN, “You can’t spell News without Repetition.”

Also, it is strange trying to watch CSI or NCIS in French.

Food: This is perhaps the most depressing thing I’ve ever written, but we’ve had McDonald’s more than anything else.  I don’t like McDonald’s, I don’t normally eat at McDonald’s.  I’ve gone over a year without stepping inside one.

We’ve gotten take out from there three times.

I have no defense, I beg only your forgiveness.  I got breakfast because Gillian’s headache was throbbing and I needed to get her some coffee and something to eat to go with the ibuprofen.  Fun fact: French McDonald’s coffee doesn’t suck.  As for dinner, well, I got a salad instead of fries, doesn’t that count for something?  Oh God, I feel dirty just trying to explain all this.  Hopefully it won’t come to this in Amsterdam.