dimanche 23 janvier 2011

Casque obligatoire!

Initially, I thought I would write regular posts during my 2+ weeks in Paris. But the fact of the matter is twofold: I would rather be doing than writing about it and, more importantly, the "livebox" (wifi router) in the apartment I was staying in did not work. I tried without much enthusiasm to fix it. I did figure out that the 26-letter code I had been given was wrong. I figured this out by finally counting each individual digit one by one, which in fact is not that easy to do. There were 27 numbers and letters in my WEP key. I even figured out which was the letter "de trop" in the code I had been given. But even this genius technology intervention on my part did not do the trick. I quickly decided not to spend hours and hours on the problem and found a nearby café with free wifi instead. This actually solved several problems, like what to have for breakfast. For information, un grand crème, followed by un café allongé. The only downside to this arrangement was that I had to be in the café to connect, which in fact is not such a downside after all. I connected less with the wired world and a lot more with the real world. And how can that be bad?

Anyway, freed from the self-imposed obligation of posting, I was more observant of my world. The first thing I noticed was that if you want to be hip in Paris, and provided that you are between the ages of about 13 and 25, you have to be wearing super big, super visible headphones. The days of smaller and more discreet ones are over, at least for now. And the funny thing is, this look is hard to pull off if you are over 25. I saw many who tried and just as many who failed. They all managed only to look as if they were trying too damned hard to be hip.

I asked Julien, who is 19 and the son of a good friend, what was up with the big 'phones when I noticed he had one in his possession. He denied it was a fad and insisted he only owned them because they are practical. Fashion groupies always pretend to be oblivious to whatever trend they are slavishly following. I don't mean this as a criticism of Julien, who I suspect really gave it no thought. He just bought a set of big 'phones, like everyone else. The funny thing is, and it truly makes me laugh, is that on this basis I am way ahead of the pack. I started using big 'phones ages ago, simply because the little ones hurt my ears and never fit right. Plus, they make me feel like I could get a massive headache any time. I have never trusted tiny earphones. So I walk my dog on Alki daily, listening to podcasts through oversize 'phones. To all you suckers looking at me like I am some sort of throwback to the past, some kind of cave woman, all I can say is that you clearly haven't been to Paris lately.

I have to go now. Jet lag is taking over my brain.