J’arrive! (at last)

Ever get the feeling that you shouldn’t get out of bed? I’ve been having bad feelings about this trip for the last couple of weeks, and so far almost all of my misgivings have come to pass.

I left the office at 1630, and I got into my hotel room just before 2300 GMT (my office is a fifteen minute bus ride from the airport, to put this into some perspective). My flight was cancelled. The replacement flight was delayed by almost two hours. My hotel reservation had been cancelled. The hotel didn’t have a free room for the duration of my stay (I’ll have to change rooms tomorrow morning).

The only things that I have fretted about that haven’t yet happened to me are a) I’m mugged and left bleeding to death in a Parisian subway and b) a goose hits the engine on my side of the fuselage, tearing the wing off and leaving me to plummet to a watery death in La Manche below, possibly with half a propeller blade embedded in my chest. It wasn’t lost on me that I had the window seat directly in line with the propeller, and I spent much of the flight calculating the probability that I’d get hit by a blade if the damned thing fell apart (based on the angle subtended by my body with respect to the axis of rotation of the propeller, and the number of blades). My, but I’m a cheery bunny tonight.

On the subject of cheery bunnies, as I sat on the RER from CDG, I realised that I never posted about my last trip to Paris (NATO workshop on ontologies) back in 2003, which was also my first experience of the Metro. There’s a little cartoon rabbit on the Metro to warn (presumably) children of the dangers of sticking your hand in the closing door, as shown below:

On that trip in 2003, the Metro Bunny gave me a dreadful sense of deja vu; I knew that I’d seen it before, but also that I couldn’t have seen it in real life. I got to the hotel and switched on the TV while I ran a bath. The only English-language station was MTV, which was showing an episode of Jackass that I’d seen before. In fact, it was showing the episode of Jackass in which J. Knoxville dresses up as the Metro Bunny and reenacts the cartoon to the bewilderment and general disinterest of his fellow Metro-users.

I’m still aghast that my knowledge of this French cultural icon came from Jackass.

Good night all. Hopefully the hotel won’t burn down, consuming all my clothes and belongings and forcing me to stand naked in the streets of Paris.

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