ZOE & RITA TAKE PARIS

 The tower of Sacre Coeur
 Rita with flowers in her hair on the grass at Versailles

This is somewhat of a sequel to my previous story: Zoe Rita Barcelona.

In fact, just replace the word 'Barcelona' with 'Paris', add a few pastries and a whole lot more homelessness, and it is basically the same story.

But I shall tell it regardless because I am sure you want to know more about those pastries.


We sat beneath an old oak tree, in the shadow of Sacré Coeur, eating pre-packaged crepes and cheese. 

I think Rita was a little disturbed by the crippled pigeons. 

Lunch was followed by a visit to the Dali museum, where, under Rita's tutorship, I learnt to appreciate the historical context of the splotchy paintings.

We were both able to appreciate the hilarity of the objects inside the raunchy sex shop in Pigalle area, under the famous red windmill of the Moulin Rouge. 

Rita and I geeked-out, big time, when we happened upon the extant green-grocer's shop which was featured in the film: Amelie.

That night, the sunset was highlighter pink and orange. It caught in the waters of the Seine, by the bank where we drank bad French wine.

And that was to be the only night of the weekend on which we slept in a bed. 

The next morning, Rita washed her socks in the bathroom sink and ironed them dry.

Having nearly empty pockets and slightly twisted priorities, we were beginning to cut corners. For instance, why buy a lunch when one can just take the bread from the breakfast spread at the hostel.

But of course (of course!) one can spend all one's money on pastries. What else in life matters as much as an oval of sweet shortcrust, filled with cream, and topped with wild French strawberries?

That next day was a blur of singing, getting lost, sandstorms under the Eiffel Tower, and other weird moments.

But that night, when we found ourselves with no hostel booked and not wanting to spend another cent, we walked to the only 24/7 Macdonalds in the whole of Paris and spent the night taking turns napping or drawing in a small sketchbook. 

Waking from a groggy and disrupted sleep at a Macdonalds booth table, I felt... Awesome! Free in a way I had never felt before.

And as the other booths began to fill up with 5am customers, Rita pulled me off the continue our naps on the grass in the Champ de Mars

 Poppies on the hill of Montmartre
 The Moulin Rouge in Pigalle
 Rita by the shop that once was on Amelie
 Wild strawberry tart from Laduree
 Rita sleeping in McDonalds
 Drawings in the middle of the night
 Paris as seen from the top of the Arc de Triomphe