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The Brave Warrior in West Africa 2 – Le weekend Parisien!

In Travels on January 23, 2013 at 8:45 am

Airplane seat technology has greatly improved over the past few years. It is now possible lean your head on an adjustable head rest instead of looking decidedly strange with one of those blow-up thingies around your neck that look like a child floating ring that won’t go down past your shoulders.

The AF seating space is so cramped that my pillow is actually a discomfort, but somehow I manage to nod off and nod back awake again at regular intervals. Soon it is morning over Paris and we come in to land at CDG in the dark. Being such a VIP on AF, my case is one of the first ones off. I manoeuvre through the crowds and take the long walk from terminal 2E to 2B to catch the AF ‘Car’ into Paris.

The last time I dropped someone off at CDG by car, it took me over 2 hours to get back home to Chaville. This time the Car takes all of 22 minutes to get to Porte Maillot, where Rishi awaits me, and in another 15 minutes, I am upstairs greeting my delighted grandchildren. Yes, it’s true… The Brave Warrior is approaching senior citizen status!

To say that it is cold in Paris would be an understatement. It was 4 deg. C when we landed. Not a thing that would normally worry a young Brave Warrior; but with his distinct lack of follicles and smooth pate exposed to the elements, he needs to be careful not to catch a head cold.

The weekend speeds by quickly with a meeting on Saturday evening at ACC, which clashes excruciatingly with England v Australia in London, Nonetheless, I am delighted to see my newly married daughter who has just arrived from Florida that morning. Saturday night is taken up watching rugby in the warmth of the apartment: France v Argentina. Unfortunately, one of my new best friends could not organise tickets for this match played at Lille. Although, it must be said, standing in the freezing rain late at night watching 30 guys beat the pulp out of each other is probably not for anyone but the most devoted of France fans, which I don’t happen to be.

Sunday, I am awake before 5 am. Today, there is an Agape (fellowship) lunch after church service. It is good to see all the folks who have come together from all across France, and even a few from the UK as well. As one would expect, the French do a ‘bring and share’ on a completely different level. 4-course meals, including salads, cheese and dessert seem to be the norm here. I am surprised they haven’t brought different cutlery for each course. Anyway, it is great fun tasting some of the local delicacies and specialities.

Immediately afterwards I accompany Jean Louis right across Paris to something called the “Foire Evangélique”. Sad to say, it is a real bazaar and the thought of pigeons and moneychangers in the temple does cross the mind… However, I do manage to connect with the people from Dieu TV, as well as Top Chrétien. So, mission accomplished, and fully worth missing out on my traditional Sunday afternoon nap.

A long drive back to Chaville and it’s time for all good children to be in bed, including an exhausted, jet lagged Brave Warrior.

Tomorrow the rounds of African embassies in Paris begins…

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