It has been well documented by many Parisians that the metro is a weird and wonderful place. I thought I would let you all know about a few thoughts I had on this very subject when I was using this particular mode of transport to get to work this morning.
This post first started in my mind yesterday when I was surprised by the man opposite me handing me a drawing he had done of me while I had been engrossed in my book (diamond smuggling truly is a fascinating topic!) Now, I had heard of this kind of things happening but thought it must be urban myth or the kind of thing that happens in the minds of romantics. I had a brief conversation with the man before I had to get off at my stop, in fact the man next to me even applauded this anonymous artist on his piece. So I started to think about this most unique public transport system. Underground rail networks in themselves aren't unique but the Parisian metro has a certain air of intrigue and that isn't just the faint smell of body odour you can't seen to escape.
Considering that the system is over one hundred years old it can't be a secret that it has many stories to tell. Admittedly there are some lines that make you feel like you are entering Dante's Inferno (Line 13 I'm looking at you) but what could be more special than taking the overground line 6 from Passy to Bir Hakeim at just the right time to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle and the faces of the tourists, children and indeed the locals light up with delight.
Even the muscians in the metro can't help but to encourage a smile on the faces of even the mos miserable commuter. Specifically I'm thinking of the band in between lines 1, 8 and 12 at Concorde. The length of the corridor helps to amplify the immense sound that this traditional band produces.You can probably search Youtube and find videos of this ensemble as every time I see them they have a crowd of people videoing them for posterity.
Usually I have my head firmly in a book when taking the daily communte but I find it equally interesting to look up and to observe my fellow passengers, From fashionistas travelling to and from shows to groups of exciteable tourists and all the people in between our common transportation is a poetic leveller in my eyes and one that I can't help but find fascinating.