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A Near-Miss at Kilometre Zero

Oct. 23, 2005

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"Meet me at kilometre zero, the brass plaque in front of Notre Dame at 11 am on Sunday," I told Eddie & Pamela, who were going to be on the second day of a Parisian vacation on the same day that I arrived for a conference. And they were there at 11, but I was snoozing under an eye shade in my hotel room over by l'Opera for the entire hour plus that they wandered around looking first for the plaque, then for me. By the time I arrived at 12:45, they had wisely gone back to their apartment near the Place des Vosges in the Marais district.

As I wandered around looking for them, unable to reach Eddie's phone, my mood gradually descended as I looked toward the prospect of a long sad afternoon guiltily walking around Paris. Till my phone buzzed! And Eddie gave me directions over to the apartment. We soon repaired to a corner cafe while Pam & Ethan tried to sleep, and whiled away the afternoon and evening, laughing at ourselves and the French who rightly despise us.