Paris – Why don’t the French have a word for Hobby?

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They don’t have a word for Hobby in Paris. The french don’t like to trivialize anyone’s leisurely pursuits. I’m not sure this is the right message.

I vividly remember an episode on Eurotrash where a man painted brick buildings from his own shit. THIS is why we need a word for hobby.

The missus once compared Amsterdam to an armpit. Paris is the same, only this one smells. There are shards of glass all the way up the stairs to Sacre Coiff, and at the top the missus and I sit in a café for ten minutes unnoticed by the waitress with the shaved head and forearm tattoos. We leave. No one tries to stop us.

On one side of the street a boy reads a book, on the other a mime artist is coating his hands in green paint and looks at me like I’ve just set up a market stall filled with paintings of brick buildings made from an array of suspicious brown hues.


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Down the the street a woman is in tears. A  woman is in hysterics pleading with her boyfriend not to break up with her. In the UK I don’t think we break up in the street, not in plain site. We also don’t have the padlock bullcrap. They have padlock bullcrap here in Paris. At the Diana memorial just above the tunnel, D’amore. A boulevard has capitulated under the weight of padlocks. There is a man selling padlocks and he seems smartened when I refuse his custom.

You can drive ‘the car of your dreams’ for 90 euros. People flock to take pictures of the Lamborgines lined up outside the Louis Vuitton headquarters, on the other side of the street a homeless woman is laid on her front, asleep/dead, clutching a paper cup.

Down the porticoes of Odeon I picture a Chinese girl practicing some ballet moves to some instructions on her phone. I’ve lost the girlfriend and when I look over my shoulder I’m clutching the hand of a perfect stranger. Albeit fleetingly, but it was enough to stupefy her and put me into a momentary bundle of deep sweat and flatulence. She looks at me aghast, like I’ve handed her a leaflet inviting her to my shit-art exhibition.

For the next ten minutes I sketch out a movie idea in my head about a two couples in a crowd who accidentally, and unbeknownst to each other, clutch the hand off each other’s partner. After they emerge from the crowd, they look at each other in astonishment, with their respected partners nowhere to be seen. Hilarity ensues. Or an orgy, one of the two.

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