Tag Archives: Paris

Tuesday

Paris Buildings

Staring at the Euro coin on my café table, I remember when this country exchanged the Franc.  That’s when you know you’re old: when you can reminisce about a previous currency. When I first visited Paris the Euro wasn’t even a sparkle in Brussels’ eye…

So, I walk around in this town. This morning I stopped in my tracks to turn around and look up at a cathedral. Wow. Hundreds and hundreds of local passer-byers walk right by, and right past me. The same phenomenal piece of architecture, but just less care. Then something else on the roadway reminds me of a spot in New Orleans, one I likely often walk by without notice.

Playing through my earbuds is All You Can Eat by Ben Folds.

Son, look at all the people in this restaurant
What do you think they weigh?
And out the window into the parking lot
At their SUV’s taking all of this space

They give no fuck
They talk as loud as they want
They give no fuck
Just as long as there’s enough for them

Gonna get on the microphone down at Wal-Mart
Talk about some shit that’s been on my mind
Talk about the state of this great nation of ours
People look to your left, yeah, and look to your right

They give no fuck
They buy as much as they would want
They give no fuck
Just as long as there’s enough for them

Son, look at the people lining up for plastic
Wouldn’t you like to see ‘em in the National Geographic
Squatting bare assed in the dirt eating rice from a bowl
With a towel on their head and maybe bone in their nose

See that asshole with a ‘Peace’ sign on his license plate
Giving me the finger and running me out of his lane
God made us number one ’cause he loves us the best
But he should go bless someone else for a while and give us a rest

(They give no)
Yeah, and everyone can see
(They give no)
We’ve eaten all that we can eat

Ah, this world.

Scott Wolfe: Amateur

Through the tubular walkways of Paris’ metro stands a forty-something man with a grey beard. He is swinging in rythm with his accordian, which he plays above his open accordian chest. Inside are low value euro coins and a sign with the gentleman’s name, email address and this one word description: Amateur. Despite the description, and as far as accordians are concerned, the guy was damn good.

It got me to thinking about some of the persistent differences between Americans and Europeans.

It would be mighty rare to see an American label himself as an amateur anything. We have twenty-somethings (like me) strolling around in designer clothes and accessories who are experts in marketing, economics, music, law, entrepreneurism…what have you. From college graduation to the window office…never amateurs.

We’re likely fooled about this. I suppose I actually am an amateur at a whole lot. As a lawyer, a businessman, a husband, a grown up… A bit liberating to admit that actually. Time to change the business card – Scott Wolfe: Amateur.

But of course, damn good.