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Habeas Blogus

Book reviews, more for my memory than anything else.

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Location: Austin, Texas, United States

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Let's take a break and talk about Paris

In March of 2005 I got a phone call from one of my best friends.

"Go to bestfares.com RIGHT NOW!! Flights from Dallas to Paris for $249! We have to go! Let's take the kids and go to PARIS! for A WEEK!"

Several phone calls to my wife, several phone calls to our group of friends, and we had it set. Nearly 7 people (including 2 infants) were on board. The special was only going to last another 36 hours, and we had to fly before the end of April.

Then the single girl dropped out. Then the DINKs (Dual-Income-No-Kids, another favorite couple). Then my wife decided not to go, and to keep Alex while I went with my friends.

I called and got reservations for April 15-20 for myself. Then the other couple dropped out. SuddenlyI was going to Paris all alone... it was as weird a feeling as I could imagine; I'd not spent the night away from my kid yet.

The total came to something like $340 for 5 days in Paris. If I hadn't left my wife at home alone with a 10-month-old child, I would have quit my job and probably not come back. That's a guarantee.

So I went. On the plane back, I thought I'd outline the days' activities. I jotted down some notes, including a timeline and a meal schedule. Then I started to write prose. My pen barely stopped moving for the 11-hour flight. Then, for 3 or 4 weeks I wrote and wrote, thousands of words a night, until I had every minute recorded from the time I touched down until the moment I lifted off. I would have won NaNoWriMo in May of 2005.

What I'm left with is over 30,000 words of a travelogue and six rolls of film (yes, film). Now (18 months later) that I've had the film digitized, I can post the pictures people have asked about all along. So, for a couple of months I'll be posting rather more regularly. Since the Black Evil (that would be "football season") seems to have eaten my reading time, I probably won't finish Lincoln until mid-October.

Now, what I'm going to post is about 97% true. I forgot very little, and what I did forget I tried to "imagine a realistic chronicle". Of course the dialog is cleaned up, and I'm skipping the annoying thing I did in the original where I detailed my metro routes exhaustively. That kind of record is great for me to have, but there's no reason in the world you should have to put up with it. If you need to know something about the routes, send me a note.

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