We scurried beneath the legs of the Eiffel Tower toward the Bateaux Parisiens. The sanitary woman behind the counter made a few decidedly French comments about our blue jeans and their dress code, so we offered to buy the most expensive seats on the boat. Eventually they took our euros and let us on. In every culture, money is always the ultimate arbiter of what we may and may not do.
As the glass-walled boat slid down the Seine, we ate smoked salmon, pate fois gras, steak with red wine sauce, four cheeses, and warm chocolate cake with mousse. Paris!
White wine, red wine, mimosas, Jack Daniels, Cointreau. Two hours into this three-hour tour, everybody on the boat was pretty well anaesthetized. Normally staid Japanese tourists were clapping in rhythm to the Russian violin. Then the keyboardist hit a switch, a canned rock drum kicked in, and I’ll be baised if they didn’t play “It’s Raining Men.”