12:59:44 pmCategories: Places

Faubourg du Temple, ground floor

Yesterday, moved down four floors and around the corner, to a little hotel in a side street. My coloc also moved out, and I helped him carry down some more or less dilapidated furniture to the pavement. He said he had found it all on the street and that it would disappear immediately when we left it. It was Saturday afternoon when the street is full of people. But he was right. We stood watching in the kitchen window, as the furniture he had collected the last 3 years was carefully scrutinised and then carried away by passer-bys.

Now, I’ve just had breakfast coffee at a bistro at the ground floor from where I lived before, with a croissant and pain aux raisins, bought at my usual bakery. At practically every café, bar or bistro where they don’t serve croissants or where they’ve run out, it’s just to bring your own from the bakery 45 secs away. (Neither leaving stuff on the pavement nor picking stuff from the pavement nor bringing food with you to cafés are the done thing where I come from. Surely, it happens all the time, but you don’t do it so blatantly). Most people having a peek down on the busy street from my window where I lived until yesterday suggested that I just did my fieldwork from the windowsill. (I was thinking that lovemaking and birth are about the only crucial events I haven’t seen, but then I came to remember the flats across the street). Now, when I’ve settled for a couple of hours in the bistro on ground floor, I could say the same thing. While I’ve been sitting here, loads of (male) neighbours and shopkeepers have dropped by for a coffee or drink, discussing holidays, unemployment from Giscard d'Estaing onwards, Sarkozy, the latest terrorist attacks in England (saying “that’s what we need right now, some terrorism…”)… I’ve only been here a handful of times before, once because a slameur I interviewed suggested the place.

It’s one o’clock, Sunday. The grand slam national and first international slam poetry championship finished yesterday. I’ve got nine more days left of fieldwork, a couple of soirées and an interview almost every day (two of the appointments, I made stumbling upon people by chance taking line 2 between Belleville and Stalingrad… East Paris as well as the slam scene, is quite a small world). Ok, enough for today. Time to move on.

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