I seem to have only just woken up to myself this morning, having joined the masses thronging deep under ground. Each person pushing for their place amongst the crowded rows of gum spotted, greying, metro seats.
I hurry down the quay hoping to find a car I can slide into without disturbing too many begrudging French people. This early in the morning the cities streets are silenced, calm in the chill of the autumn fog. Standing on any given street you’d be fooled into thinking Paris was still asleep; but step below it’s concrete surface and you’ll find a buzzing underground maze. Small glass kiosks boasting delicious pastries, hot coffee, fresh flowers and slightly bruised fruit. All surrounded by a swarm of people, busily off to where they have to be for the day.
I find myself a small corner standing close to the door. Wedged between the chilling glass and the warm breath of countless Parisians. I disembark a stop before my destination, and grateful as I am to escape the perpetually stuffy underground air, each stair I climb takes me away from the warmth and into the crisp autumn day.
Les Jardins des Tuileries in November are an orange and yellow wonderland. I sit on a bench basked in sunlight and watch the leaves fall gently to the ground. I know well, that soon this stone bench, even now seeping the warmth from my thighs, will be covered in snow, icicles hanging from it’s edge. The ground beneath my feet decorated by the footsteps of strangers imprinted in the ice. For now I’ll take pleasure in the sunlight, dimmed only slightly by the cool breeze that has turned my nose and cheeks a rosy pink.