about a music festival (and guitars)

Story One: So there’s this event on June 21st called the Fête de la Musique. It’s basically an excuse for half of the residents of Île-de-France to get shitfaced and turn central Paris into a dump for one glorious night of debauchery. There are free concerts all over Paris and its periphery, and many of the concerts include huge names (Tokio Hotel performed at one venue and I didn’t know until it was over!!! cry cry cry). Then afterwards, people take to the streets because many shops and cafés are open really late, and the Métro and RER are open all night instead of closing at 1:30 am like they normally do. This all amounts to lots of trash and broken glass in the streets, converging at Notre Dame. The riot police come out and line up in front of Notre Dame at around 1:50 am because the fête is officially over at 2 am, leaving a TON of shit in the streets and a lot of drunk Parisians in its wake.

Anyway, after a great concert at Denfert-Rochereau, I walked with a couple of friends to Châtelet (FYI, that’s pretty far). My friends absolutely REFUSED to let me go back to my apartment alone, and for good reason– a small Asian girl alone in the RER in Paris at 3 am surrounded by hordes of drunk and loud French men on the drunkest and loudest night of the year? That’s pretty much ASKING to get raped– or, if you’re lucky, groped and harassed. Or followed home. ::shudder::

Story Two: I went to the Truskel bar alone on Saturday just because I saw its ad for “Punk Rock Karaoke Night”. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with my aspirations to Japanese rock stardom, I am currently trying to get underweight and learning how to play the guitar and looking for a punk rock band in desperate need of a singer.) As you might gather, a small Asian girl alone in a bar full of drunken French and British people is not the way to be. But I’m not the type to go down without a fight.

Anyway, the bar closed before the Metro opened, so I was stuck on the steps of the metro at 5 am with a glass bottle that I figured I could use for self-defense when this guy started talking to me. He turns out to be a great guitarist, and I end up at a random person’s very pimp house (the kid lives in a mansion– in the middle of Paris. He has GOT to be loaded) with him and a bunch of friends (who turn out to be sixteen-year-olds! Why am I so old?!), jamming and singing along to The Rolling Stones and Lenny Kravitz.

After chilling with him and jamming on the Pont des Arts the next day, said guitarist guy invites me to a concert by his band, and then lends me a guitar to practice with! Amazing. I’ve been thinking of buying a guitar here, and one just runs right into me. God, I love random acts of awesomeness.

So now I am continuing my guitar lessons from where my dad left off when I was in high school (he used to play Beatles songs all the time when I was little, and I finally let him teach me a few chords when I got older, but I’ve forgotten most of what he taught me :P). It’s a great way to kill time in my Internet-less apartment.

I’ll update you on my job hunt later. I’m going to be a part-time student, which means I can’t have a steady job, but I can do odd job-type things like babysit for a family obsessed with getting their kids to learn English. Oh, the places you’ll go in Paris if you’re fluent in American English.


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This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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