AK ’23 | Last Legs Pt 1

On our final day together, Annie and I spent the afternoon in a relaxed fashion: we found a cafe near Leah’s place and sat down to write and eat cake. It was a trendy, young place, Scandi-chic, far less intimidating than the bistros of central Paris with their chalkboard menus covered in dense, illegible scrawl. On one of the cafe’s exterior walls, facing a sidestreet, somebody had spray painted a vaguely left-wing proclamation in French, translating roughly as ‘down with fascism!’. A little further down the street, someone else had written ‘hipsters fuck off’.

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AK ’23 | The Destroyer of Molluscs

We did Paris stuff on our second day in Paris; tourist bits, lots of walking. I love walking in big cities – doesn’t matter how far. I love walking anywhere, just trundling along chatting and looking at things. It might actually be my favourite thing to do, now that I think about it. I’m 30 years old and I’d genuinely rather take a one-hour stroll through a park than spend five hours in some swanky rooftop bar with a pool. Annie is not as fond of walking as me, which is why I always have to lie to her about the distances it says on the map.

“So how far is it to this cemetery?”

“It’s just, uhhhh…” I glanced at my phone: 43 minutes to Père-Lachaise. “Another twenty mins or so.”

“Ugh.”

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AK ’23 | A Grassy Hilltop in Paris

“So you do all the maps and navigating and stuff. What do I bring to the table in this travel duo?”

We were in a taxi on the way to the airport, for an 11am flight to Paris.

“Don’t be daft. You contribute loads. You make me do things I don’t want to do.”

“Yeah,” said Annie slowly, looking out of the window as Lisbon’s trams and tiles flicked by. “Yeah, I do. I introduce you to a wealth of interesting new experiences.”

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Paris | Reunion pt. 2

Too skint to enjoy a lunch at Les Deux Magots, Jeanne and I crossed the road in search of a cheaper alternative. We found a cute place around the corner, where for the price of a single sandwich in the first café, we were able to buy a pizza and a carafe of wine. I don’t know whether it’s the northerner in me or the millennial or just basic stinginess, but I get a giddy thrill from finding a good deal.

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Avignon | Encore

The train from Marseille to Avignon was a pleasant 90 minutes. The south of France looks like Spain, and reminds me of family holidays when I was a kid – walking along in flip flops and baggy shirts down to the beachfront restaurants for an evening meal, the night air warm, crickets chirping in the bushes.

I met Seth at the station. I’d been running late, and when I found him outside he was leaning on a railing, shaven-headed, grinning at me through a pair of dark sunglasses.

“Hello mate,” he said, when I came in for a hug.

It’s always nice to be back.

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