Friday, June 29, 2012

Euro2012 Demi-Finals

During the waning days of the Occupation of our current appartement, the humidity extractors (automated moisture sensing fans, to most humans) have been running overtime.  Our windows have been open wide in an attempt to capture the few puffs of breeze that might see fit to wander over Paris.

Gods!  It's been hot and humid. 31 degrees Celsius and 70 percent humidity.  Gack!

Euro2012 ~ Italy vs Germany

Somewhat Wilted Zombie-like Creatures roam the Earth...

Working on my French with the natives, I spoke with several people manning their caisses at Monoprix, Inno (same company, only somehow different, right?) and Degrange (purveyors of the Finest Baguettes Known to Man).  "Ooph, la chaleur!  Est-ce qu'est normale, l'humidite?"

"La chaleur?  Oui.  L'humidite?  Non!  Ce n'est pas normal!"  This was the reply as everyone is looking more than a little wilted.

Bad timing, this weather.  Les Summer Soldes have begun.  In earnest.  Sales by businesses are held twice a year here.  The timing is strictly regulated, so I hear, by the police.  This kind of police oversight may have come in response to the fights that usually break out over That Sweet Little YSL Number being offered, for a limited time only, at an Extremely Special Price.  Hence, Les Summer Soldes (my words, not what they're really known as).  I doubt many fights will break out this year.  There are a great number of  Somewhat Wilted Looking Zombie-like Creatures melting the soles of their shoes into the pavements during the "ce n'est pas normal" early summer heat.  Not fun.

Euro2012 ~ Italy vs Germany

On a Mission to find cooler climes

Add to les Soldes the fact there is some Huge Widely Watched sporting event going on right now and you can see why Parisians get no sleep.  La chaleur.  Les Soldes.  Le Foot.  No wonder Parisians are looking more than somewhat wilted.

And, there is no playing in the fountains in front of the Trocadero.  There is one less way for Somewhat Wilted Looking Zombie-like Creatures to cool down.

About a month back, we watched as the water was drained, the sculptures craned up and away on flat bed camiones, and as the fountain suddenly sprouted Astro Turf.  It seems strange to me that Astro Turf sprouts out of the beds of (certain) fountains when subjected to Large Drainage Efforts.  Counter-intuitive, isn't it?

Euro2012 ~ Spain vs Portugal

Will our team win tonight?

To make matters even more interesting, a HUGE flat screen TV appeared and suddenly blocked the view of the bottom 1/3rd of la tour Eiffel.  Huh.  "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K."

Two nights ago, to escape our Appartement Oven, Jude suggested we take an evening walk over to the Trocadero to watch a little Foot.  I had no idea she was interested in le Foot, but, there you have it.  I see that I'm capable of being surprised, even after 20 years of marriage.

Euro2012 ~ Spain vs Portugal

Standing in regulation Hooligan Formation?

Slowly swimming our way through le chaleur and l'humidite, Jude stopped to talk with a few Projection of Strength Gendarmes. She asked them a question and the next thing I know, the small group of Gendarmes who were dressed in Full Armored Battle Gear are chattering away with my wife.  In French.  Everyone is being polite and seem to be engaged in a great conversation.  They talked le Foot, Spain vs Portugal, le chaleur et l'humidite and, I'm quite certain, many other things.

Are all Gendarme or Police Nationale this nice?

Last night we swam a couple more laps through le chaleur et l'humidite to find ourselves wondering where everyone went.  When Spain waddled their way to victory over Portugal, the Trocadero had been filled to near capacity with Cool Temperature Seeking Humans.  Alas, for la lutte entre Germany et Italy, il n'y a personne!  Qu-est ce qui se passe, ici?

Jude decided to ask.

Euro2012 ~ Spain vs Portugal

Huge crowds on the edge of needing control

La Police were, again, very nice.  They explained who was playing and in which colors l'equipe de Foot was being played (we learned that it was Italy in blue).  They talked about standing around in le chaleur et l'humidite perspiring like crazy in their Full Armored Battle Gear.  They talked about the battles that took place the night before entre les hooligans et la police.  From the sounds of things, the confrontation took place two hours after the match had been played, and la lutte went on for some time.  One of the Full Armored Battle Gear wearing gents told how he had spent time in England and how much he looked forward to not having to confront les hooligans on that night.

Later, Jude and I found a nice bench to sit down on.  We watched as Italy scored it's two match winning goals.  They were GREAT shots, those.  The small crowd went wild.  The fewer German flag wearing spectators were looking Somewhat Wilted and Zombie-like.

Euro2012 ~ Spain vs Portugal

 ... and here is the Crowd Control

Thinking about the past two nights, I wonder if Jude, being a kindly chatty older foreign lady,  has some kind of calming sweetening effect on la Police?  They were incredibly nice both nights.  Thereby, we had the wonderful opportunity to continue our Practice of the French Language.

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