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Saturday was Paris Pride (La Marche des Fiertés). Jared and I met up with Ari and several of his friends to watch, despite the 95 degree heat.

Bob, Jared, Ari and Ari’s boyfriend at 2019 Paris Pride.

As usual, it was a huge parade. One distinctive characteristic of Paris Pride is that many individual people jump in and walk along, only punctuated from time to time by floats (chars) and groups with banners. My photos this year weren’t that great but here they are for the record. Pride is always somewhat fun, but I’m coming to realize that, like with so many things, one can never recapture the thrill of the first time.

I finished my Pride experience by walking back home along the line of almost-stopped floats so I could see everything without having to wait interminably. I was then delighted to get a text from Eugène, suggesting a before-dinner apéro. The drink turned into dinner, at Le Bon Coin, a restaurant I had enjoyed with Jared and Zoltán the previous week.

Bob and Eugène at Le Bon Coin.
The specialty of the house is its Baba au Rhum, which is accompanied by a bottle of rum in case you find it a bit dry!

Jared and I hope that Eugène may be able to visit us in Boston this September, and he will be in Santiago for six months after that…

That evening Jared learned that his flight back to the U.S. on Sunday had been delayed by several hours, so he would miss his connecting flight to Boston. He was faced with a choice: spending the night in some random hotel in Newark and getting home Monday morning, or staying one more night (which we had already reserved) in our cozy Paris apartment, having an extra Sunday in Paris, and getting back Monday afternoon. What to do? Fortunately, Jared made the sensible choice, which enabled us to take a day trip on Sunday (next post), and allowed him to join for farewells on Sunday evening.

The first farewell was when our charming Airbnb host, Alexandre, invited us to a local café for an apéro . We enjoyed learning more about his interesting life, and adding an element of personal friendship to our cordial owner-guest relationship. One particular kindness was his offer to let me stay in the apartment until 3 pm, when I leave for the airport, instead of the typical 11 am checkout time.

Our last farewell was an Iranian feast at the apartment of my friend Ali, also including Zhizhong, who Jared and I both knew independently from his grad student days at Harvard, and who has also been close with both Ali and my cousin Lisa (and her daughter Aya). It was hello-goodbye for Jared and Ali, since they were meeting for the first time, but it was a real farewell between me and Ali and me and Zhizhong, since we had spent time together on several occasions this year (as well as on many prior years).

Bob, Jared, Zhizhong and Ali in a blurry but cheerful selfie at Ali’s apartment in the 15ème.

Jared had to catch an early flight on Monday morning so we had to head home after dinner. We walked Zhizhong over to the métro and finished our farewells there. Jared and I had a mini-farewell on Monday morning, but it was more of a joint farewell to Paris since we will both be back in Boston by this evening.