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Snowy Paris

2013-01-22

1.jpgRomance, silence, excited photographers, exhausted bikers, slowly moving cars, crowds of not yet completely awaken people on the metro platforms, wet shoes, hungry sparrows and pigeons, children in the fur hats. For Paris snow is a holiday. 

Parisians live in the anonymity of the city, they ignore each other, everyone strictly protects his or her privacy and lives according to the rule "live and let the others live". There exist moments when in the complex cobweb of imprevisible situations, in the unity of a particular moment there ari2.jpgses a mutual understanding, provoking a smile. Smile which is typically parisian, behind which there is what is not pronounced in words, we know what we think, we think the same as the other person who has just smiled to us and exactly at the same moment we smiled back. Or was it the other person who smiled back to us?
 
Smile to the runner in the morning park covered with the fresh snow. "Bonjour", behing which there is a common joy from the whiteness, from the sound of the snow under the sneakers, from the s3.jpgight on the tree branches decorated with the white dressing. The other runner says what both of us think "we have to enjoy it, it will not last for a long time. And it is so precious and beautiful." Mutual ironical smile with the man with whom I find myself in front of the closed door of the hopelessly filled metro train and we are obliged to continue our patient waiting in the sludge on the platform. Nervous RATP employee who is running from one door to another and helping people to jam in the train, with a squeking voice shouting to step out when the train starts to mo4.jpgve. We "the others" smile, all of us on the platform think the same, there is no need to be so nervous.
 
The garden Champs de Mars by the Eiffel Tower is emptied, the cold discourages even the tourists. The empty space makes the whiteness contrasting with the iron lady even more impressive.Stand with the pancakes and coffee, my frequent lunch objective, does not have many customers in the snowy days. It is not close enough to the Eiffel Tower and so the tourists do not know that here the Italian owner gives more spirit to the crêpes and capuccino with the whipped cream. He gives me a hot cup of coffee with generous dose of whipped cream, powdered with chocolate, and with larky smile asks if I am not angry that he gave me more whipped cream to compensate the cold. I am not angry at all.
 
The exoticism must be made even more exceptional. People go out to the Parisian street on ski, at Champs de Mars two young girls in the ski shoes sit on the bench and smoke.
 
In Paris everyone lives for himself, but there are some situations when the Parisians are as a whole. Snow makes them closer, as the transportation strikes do, as the children at the playground do. 

Maria Dopjerova-Danthine, Paristep

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