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April 3, 1994; Easter

Sitting in the Admirals Club passenger lounge at Orly waiting for my plane; business class paid by my client — wonder if it's worth the extra cost to me to do this in the future: more legroom in the plane, and apparently better air recirculation system since for once, I did not get horribly sick with the 3‑week flu by the time I got off the plane on the way here. On the other hand, I spend too much money, a bit beyond my means. I need to make more in order to do all this — or then, not do it.

My 0830 wakeup was in fact Vincent again, surprise! followed 2 minutes later by the hotel's beep-beep. Odd bird but seems awfully sweet —

Breakfast, bunch of Italians, gosh I like the Italians what nice people, a family group of ten from Porto S. Giorgio, my crash studies in Italian geography paid off again . . . .

Little walk at 1020, out to S. Pierre du Gros-Caillou, walked in just as the priest started his homily with "Le Christ est ressuscité", and stayed for the homily and the Credo (Credo V sung in Latin, I was among the 20% of the congregation who knew it more or less, albeit lacunae — surprising to hear it in Latin). From church to Concorde under 62° and mostly sunny, light wind, lovely weather again. Passed a team of 2 ranks of 4 donkeys each, 5 white, 1 black, 2 mixed, the mixed being larger, led by an old man and a younger man down the right lane of the Quai d'Orsay, hugging the curb.

Cab from the stand at the NW corner of Concorde — I wonder if I'll forever associate Concorde with Vincent as I do other places (Quai des Tuileries, Odéon, r. Champollion, Hôtel Colbert, and especially the Cour d'Honneur du Palais-Royal) with Daniel? Pit stop at hotel to pick up the famous 32‑kg box, the other box of books, and my little suitcase and briefcase, and out to the airport; only remarkable item being the church in Gentilly, 1920's concrete but I rather like it. . . И вот всё для Парижа.

Plane ride straightforward, on time, no bumps; read, ate, slept, read, ate and arrived. Seat neighbor a boy of about 13 reading a huge detailed textbook on physiology thru most of the trip, except at the end when he struggled with an Agatha Christie in French; his parents in front of us. Much less nice family to my right in the middle row: daughter of 20 and father of 50 in front, horrid mother with scarlet lipstick and a foul personality behind, old woman to her right. The mother obviously long in the habit of driving the daughter to distraction, the daughter would lash back, and unfortunately she may become horrid too. The father would by and large pretend not to hear his wife talk to him, and would quietly try to calm his daughter —

Very ill-designed new international terminal, except for flow — Customs, $2660 of books I declared, rather cute customs agent looked at one box, he was I think also curious in his own right when I told him it was mostly dictionaries. Books are duty-free. James at exit, looking tall, in front of wrong gate (more bad design, in fact). Gradually worse temper he was, until I slapped him down and he behaved. No dinner for me, pretty much a complete unpack, and to bed at normal Chicago hour, around 7 P.M.


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Page updated: 2 Mar 07