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Une Pause café- Time to reminisce? 6/22/09  

The house is awfully quiet now that Kevin is in Paris for a week of vacation. I have so much free time and nobody to look after!  I am trying to keep myself busy by I am just tired of reading and there is nothing to watch on TV, so I decided to have "une petite pause café" (coffee break) to brighten up my day.  As I was pouring my coffee and wondering what Kevin might be doing right now in Paris?  Is he enjoying himself in the city of light?  How is he getting by with his French? Did he stop in Cafés and have his favorite sandwich, the Croque Monsieur? I hope he will enjoy every single minutes discovering Paris and soaking in the French culture! 

More questions seem to fill my head and then suddenly images from my youth came rushing in!  As a teenager living in Paris, I remember hanging out in Cafés with my friends, playing a few games of pin ball machine, goofing off, sipping coffee , discussing about the latest news, and talking about our bright future, etc…

 One time, my friends, Georges, Florence, Beatrice, Jean-Pierre and I,  we had about 3 or 4 hours of free time betweens on next class so we decided to go to the Opera area to do some window shopping.  The next thing we knew, we were sitting at a large Café close to the Opera Metro, the name escape me now.   We were sipping coffees, hanging around to kill time until our next class, then when it was time to pay we realized we did not have enough money among ourselves to pay the bill.  Panics set in!  What are we going to do now?  None of us has a credit card nor a check, so we scrapped what ever cash we had on hand and we still came short.   We had to think quickly, so in the end we pretended to go to the bathroom one at the time and then quickly walk out the door.  The good thing is this café is huge so they do not really pay attention to us.  We put what ever money we had on the table and then slowly we took off one by one.  The last person to leave has to make sure the garcon is busy serving a customer so he can not come to our table and collect the tab right away.  It was so scary and at the same time so hilarious!  Once we were out, we would rush in the Metro and waited until all of us got out.  Pew, we were safe!   The garcon never came out to look for us, or maybe we left too fast for him to catch up with us.  The funny thing is we all assume that everyone had enough money to pay for their own coffee so we never checked before walking in the café.  Café only cost a few Francs and we did not even have enough to pay for it... Talking about being a poor!

I has been more than 30 years now and I am wondering what became of my friends? The future looked so bright for us then, so I hope that my friends have reached their goal in life, found peace, happiness and that life have been kind to them.  I probably will never know the answer but nevertheless I enjoy re-visiting a moment in my youth and I am glad to have these wonderful memories of the few years I spent at Le Lycée Turgot. 

Cheers my long lost friends!


This is the entrance of the Lycée Turgot.  I spent 3 wonderful years there from 1977 to 1980


La cour (the court yard).  We had our lunch there. Inside the tall columns there is a huge room that can fit easily a few hundred of students.

My friends and I, we never paid for our lunch there because we found out that they never check at the door so any students can go in and eat.  Once in a while they randomly have someone checking at the door and so when they do check, we went to a local cafe near by to have a sandwich. The food was not great but since we never paid... I guess we can not complaint either!  



This picture was taken when I was crossing the ferry to go to L'ile de Ré in Bretagne (Brittany).  I was probably around 18 years old.


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