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I read the news today, oh boy…

May 9, 2011

About a year ago I saw one of my favorite bands at a small theatre in Manchester, NH. Wilco opened and closed their near three hour set pumping some serious amperage, including moments the fabulous (Play)Joyce [I have two Joyce’s and it’s best not to mix the Joyceage up. (Work)Joyce is my boss, and (Play)Joyce is… well, I guess she’s the boss too. Anyway…] describes as, “noise that sounds like a spaceship is landing.” Uh, yeah, but for 40 minutes or so in the middle, Jeff Tweedy’s band played an acoustic set with delicious stripped down versions of his finely crafted songs. Well, mostly. Some stuff was still plugged in, and that kind of describes the reality of my “Full Analog” week in Paris.

Upon arrival at our first hotel in Paris, wi-fi scanning commenced almost immediately (after a nap). A trip down to the front desk offered 30 days of wi-fi via Orange of France for 19,50 Euro, or about $30 after the crushing currency conversion, which coincidentally peaked the week of my visit… Soon I was online to discover the Boston Bruins Game 1 against Philly began at 9PM local time. My spectacular GF had researched for, and found, a sports bar a couple blocks from our hotel and we watched our boys begin their second round revenge…

Monday morning, alone and sipping a Café au lait in the hotel restaurant, I was shocked to read online about, “Le Fin de Bin Laden.” I found a newspaper and made my only Facebook post of the week with this picture.

Fortunately for me, my travel mate is secretly also “Map Girl,” so the lack of a GPS was neutered by her analog navigational skills. With her added artistic abilities, she could be a cartographer, but since most stuff is already documented, I’m just happy the girl can read a map. Oh, I’m no slouch either, and when we got a little lost one day on the mean streets of Paris, I fearlessly approached two tough teenage girls and confidently asked, “Où est le boulevard Saint-Germain?” They looked at each other and giggled in French, but they knew what I wanted and pointed the way.

As for emailing and tweeting and other digital dalliances, I refrained and simply used my phone for reading the news, checking B’s and Sox scores, and Skyping (when it worked) family back home.

I survived the week mostly unplugged, but now I have to go catch up on email…

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