to prove the adage wrong…

February 24, 2007

posters at nanterrethe past couple weeks, even though they’ve been exciting and interesting to varying degrees, have also been very difficult and disappointing. in fact, i’ve been quite unhappy, to be perfectly honest. when your place is a dive, there’s nothing around of much significance (beyond your classes, of course) within a fifteen-minute walk, it’s pretty easy to feel this way.

so, whoever said that it’s not possible to buy happiness was obviously never a cyclist.

for the very reasonable price of 140€, i’m the proud owner of a fifth bike, and the first one on a different continent. she’s a smidge squeeky, but nothing that a bottle of lube and a bit of care wouldn’t fix. normally, i know that it’s not a good idea to buy the first thing you see, but when you have a feeling like the one i had, you just can’t pass it up.

imagine the thought of someone getting on the skytrain and busking between stations; for a whole bunch of reasons, it’s a pretty strange thought, no? well, this is pretty common in the paris metro. it’s impressive how many kinds of acts there are…of course, in a city of over 12 million, it’s inevitable to get different kinds of performance art from all over the world. you can get everything, really…american hip hop, classic french tunes, argentine tango (usually charming), peruvian pipe music (usually irritating), you name it. i even saw an elvis impersonator once, plying the tracks of the underground for tips like all the others (i’m sure that he wasn’t too concerned that the song “greased lightning” was never an elvis song).

what’s neat is that the metro is a kind of public stage, obviously not condoned by the authorities, but quietly tolerated (quite frankly, the staff of the ratp – the paris transit authority – has much better things to do).

my only wish is that each act was as good as this one (courtesy of spacing wire).


5 Responses to “to prove the adage wrong…”

  1. Milan Says:

    What manner of bicycle is it?

  2. mkushnir Says:

    it’s a funny contraption. it appears to be a type of road bike that has been converted to city-bike usage. there are a few superfluous accessories (mostly broken) that i intend to remove, as soon as i manage to get myself a basic tool kit…or find out where exists a good place to do d.i.y. repairs around here.

    photos of the bike can be found here.

  3. Milan Says:

    How is your part of Paris for cycling? Oxford is quite good, mostly, but I expect that most of London would be a nightmare.

  4. Jussi Says:

    Whoa! 140€ for an old bike. That must be 10 years old or more. I guess the prices just are a bit higher in France.

    It’s hard to tell from the picture, what kind of gears does your bike have?

    P.S. Got my SMS? 🙂

  5. mkushnir Says:

    i haven’t really tried to cycle in nanterre. if the weather doesn’t get any worse today, i think i might give it a go. however, i don’t expect it to be too good. the campus at paris x is pretty much surrounded by highways on three sides and a pretty serious railway on the fourth. plus, navigation seems to be somewhat counter-intuitive. it’s a good thing that one can largely make their way by landmarks (la grande arche, l’arc de triomphe, tour eiffel, tour montparnasse, etcetera).

    gears are pretty simple; twelve speeds with shifters on the body.

    i’ll check my mobile in a minute…

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