Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Day in Paris

There are a lot of drunken, indiscrete Americans on this street (rue Mouffetard)... a LOT. Usually, I look out of my window and shake my fist at them like the crazy old French person that I aspire to be.

But yesterday, I stopped being ridiculous and started embracing my Americanism... Obama just does that to me. In celebration of the inauguration, a very clever friend suggested that we all go out and "get Mouffetarded"--an excellent idea.

All day leading up to the broadcast, I had a familiar giddy-idiot feeling... Oh yes, it was the same one I'd had on election day back in November. That was the day I stood in the metro with a crazy look on my face, hoping someone would ask me what was wrong with me just so that I could declare, "I helped elect Obama!" Sadly, no one asked, but it still felt good. And yesterday felt just as good, as if the world was tilting towards sanity.

So I got together with my American friends. We pranced up the cobblestones of rue Mouffetard and finally settled in a cafe on the Place de la Contrescarpe. I felt like a young Ernest Hemingway, minus the talent and the desire to shoot big game.

It was pretty radical, though, to feel the history happening.

And it was fun to do so with a group of really fun, sane, interesting Americans who, in another time, might have been part of Hemingway's "génération perdue," but who are now, as far as I can tell, feeling much better about their place in the world.

P.S. I got published--and called a luddite!--on Businessweek.com: click here. 

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