Paris (part 1)
It is also built above a constantly rumbling Metro and beside a self-important crossroads, but then all crossroads in Paris seem to be busy, and all their little motorcycles seem to buzz around like very loud and angry wasps, and even though my room was directly above the canopy to the left, I slept quite well. In the early hours even Paris sleeps, and the rumble of the underground acquires the comforting familiarity of thunder, and I was grateful to hear it.
Since I arrived early (having set off for the airport at 5.00 am) I decided to dump my stuff in my hotel room and head off into town, towards the tower. Like most streets of cities those of Paris are fairly dingy with a ubiquitous pale stone or rendering. There were some I found interesting though,
like this tall triangular structure which seemed to be a remnant of something larger,
and the contents of some of the windows caught my attention (like these poor escargots spotted in a shop selling culinary delicacies)
then, as I reached the wealthier parts, there were boulevards of chestnuts and lilac,
and a park with more exotic-looking flowers, apparently shifting in the breeze, but which on closer inspection turned out to be a party of schoolchildren with identical orange hats, oddly quiet, clustering for food on the banks of a park.
And then, of course, there was this:
La Tour Eiffel. In the night I would glimpse it lit in a spectacular laser display that throbbed as much as the pictures of microbes I'd see in a lecture mid-afternoon. And from underneath it seemed creature-like too; its ladders and struts, boards and reinforcing rods, like cilia, and the sometimes geometric outlines of cells.