Paris 2018 – Day 4

At the recommendation of my friend Robin who is just back from Paris, we go to Bois de Boulogne for Patricia’s daily jog. Bois de Boulogne was a hunting preserve of the French king before the Revolution, and was converted into a treasured park.

Bois de Boulogne

Patricia is dressed appropriately for jogging in custom designed shirt and shorts, with a convenient zipper pocket that just about holds her passport and room key card, while I am just dressed in my regular jeans.

We start off with two different understandings of our plan. I thought we had agreed to meet back at our starting point after one hour, so I plan to walk in a straight line, checking occasionally the view to the rear, for half an hour, then head back to make it an hour.

Patricia’s understanding is different. She understood me to say that she could circumnavigate the whole park in one hour, so she does not have a watch, she will just make a loop around.

Of course, I get back after an hour. And start waiting. After half an hour, I start having visions that she has become injured, and now has no way of contacting me. She was favoring one leg before she even started, but felt she would run it off. I start to run scenarios through my mind – how long until I am justified in calling police? should I start searching for her, or will this lead to greater confusion if she gets back and finds me at the bench. Eventually I settle on two hours late – at that point it would be worth calling the gendarmes to ask if there have been any collapsed runners. Or worse, Paris is not a crime-free city.

Patricia in fact has got quite lost, and much to my relief returns in great form. I shoot some video of her for her social media, and

Later we meet up with Patricia’s relative Bijoux, who has warned us that at 6:30 she will go to church. Unbeknownst to us, the address she gives us is actually the address of the church, not of her apartment. So when we find her, she invites us to join her. When I enter the church, I realize that this is an evangelical service, and dive for the restrooms to prepare for a long innings.

My worst fears are not realized, I am treated to only three hours of sermon, which is almost all incomprehensible to my limited French. No one tries to save me, everyone seems quite content that I am the only one in the room who is not African or of African descent.

And we take Bijoux out to an Indian restaurant, recommended by our taxi driver. Bijoux speaks no English, so I stumble my way through with Patricia’s help. And Bijoux is, like the literal translation of her name, a jewel.


Network engineer by day, activist by night, and I try my best to have some fun along the way.

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