my lucky stars are an illusion
· 7 November 2004 ·

Dear one and all,

this is my official resignation of the united states of america. Effective today, I’m now an ex-pat Pat. No more will my hands wave the bastardized american flag,hail to the chief or eat the succulent crispiness of an apple pie and…...shit….well maybe not the apple pie part, that’s a bit extreme..

anyway, i just got back from possibly the strangest and most amazing week yet. For fall break i traveled to that land of aristocracy and elegant tastes, refined behavior and unbridled opinion, buildings and streets that no literary genius has yet to accurately describe and niether will i; i ventured to that land of Parisians and dipped my brush in the Seine river, and will now paint a picture of Paris, France.

I was already scared of France because of where my roots lie, and discovered on the first night in France that one should NEVER drink the beer there, for the bartender deftly urinates in a pint glass instead, and then charges you about 7 dollars US. owch. But instead one must imbibe the wine, all sorts and sizes.

Paris is exspensive, but rightly so because they have exspensive tastes. you really cant expect to get any food less than superb; anything from a flaky warm croissant to a tiny little triangle of cheese (with a laughing cow pictured) will send your senses on a fantastical voyage of titilating tastes and textures.

The city itself welcomed me with cold damp regard, as the entire time i was there, the sun came out once, on a lovely day when i strolled below the behemoth Eiffel tower and joined the likes of asian tourists, lovestruck brides and children playing in the Autumn leaves that blanket the ground below that metal infrastructure of French dissatisfaction.

The rest of the trip was spent bundling up avoiding the cold within the warmth of ancient museums (containing so much art and transcendant beauty your eyes go numb and your body slows to a zombie-like stagger),inside the super efficient Metro subway system (with awkward silence but squeeling grinding commotion in motion), and inside my hotel that broadcasts everything from Full House,soccer, french films and Garfield the movie in French.

The Language is hard to muster, it is true, they really hate any other language other than french, and most of the seemingly odd words sent me back to prehistoric hand motions and grunting to communicate effectively. not a good impression to make, i know.

The people are people, no difference whatsoever in my mind. Anyone can see that they drive european cars, dress better, focus more on the arts,smoke A LOT, have more history and a complete distaste for Bush; but no one sees that they relax in parks, have noisy children, do their taxes and love life just as much as we do…

holy fuck, this is getting annoyingly long and I’ve barely even touched on what happened when i was there. I’ll just sum it up then.

Paris is Beautiful, the food is great, everything is exspensive, the people are normal (no one had large mustaches and said “oi oi!”)
and every step of the city was made under the scrupulous eye of an artists/architect/genius.

The higlights of my trip were, in no particular order:
  1. Having a museumgasm (new vocab kids) in the Musee de Orsay. I was in there for about 5 hours straight and my unwavering eye caught every single sculpture to every tiny minute detail of brushstrokes.
  2. Listening to the shittiest organ music ever played on sunday mass/halloween in Notre Dame. absolutely terrible, it sounded like they dropped bricks on the keys and then let a donkey play it with his hooves.
  3. Unknowlingly seeing a french/christian rock concert. It wasn’t till after the reggae band stopped and the crowd went wild as the Cardinal of the nearby church took the stage, mumbled something in French and the crowd Fucking ERUPTS in cheers! me and my buddies were all pretty intoxicated so we cheered right along despite not understanding one word. I’m glad the only time i went to a christian rock concert, i couldn’t understand a damn thing.
  4. Meeting a girl on the subway that i had met on a train in south Thailand over a year ago. I never got her name, she hardly spoke english, and we said goodbye within 3 minutes of discovering this amazing instance of small-world syndrome. Philip, you know who the girl is. the cute one.
  5. Going up the eiffel tower on my last night, only to discover high above Paris that the beauty in the world just wilted a little as John Kerry conceided and the Americans chose an criminal/murderer/bigot/idiot for a leader. Then on the way down from the top, one of my friends had become so drunk that he projectile vomited on the walls and windows of the elevator, scaring small children and packing the rest of the tourists in the opposite corner of the now acridly pungeant elevator.
  6. Eating crepes made from the heavens that same night. hot, freshly made, crispy melted cheese, fresh tomatoes and glittering with basil. then a desert crepe of melted chocolate and coconut shreddings.
  7. Being chased by ducks and seagulls as i rowed a boat full of screaming girls in the river below the magnificent palace of Versaille.

I cant go on anymore, there is too much. e-mail please, i miss you my friends. Stay safe.


Written by Patrick Holahan


  1. Richard Halvorsen    Nov 7, 03:01 PM    #

  2. kate    Nov 9, 12:47 PM    #