Bastille Day 1996

In 1996 I tested out of high school. I only stayed long enough to go to my senior prom, what a nightmare but that’s another post. I was going to college at night and high school during the day and had been for 2 years. I was sick of school.

As a graduation gift to myself, and ostensibly to earn more college credits, I took out a student loan and spent a month in Paris. I have lots of stories to tell and lots of things I miss.

I went with a group from my local community college and lived in the dorms at La Citè. We attended classes at the Sorbonne. We all know the real reason to go there was to party like it was 1999. There were many nights where we didn’t get back to the dorm until 3 or 4 in the morning. Hey! I was 17 and in a foreign country with no parental supervision. I was going to study?

We went during the month of July. I missed my favorite holiday. The 4th. But I was in Paris for Bastille Day. The 14th. Bastille Day is France’s independence day. It is so called because in 1789 the French proletariat stormed the Bastille, Paris’s main jail, which they felt was a symbol of the corrupt political system. It was the beginning of the French Revolution and the beginning of the downfall of the Monarchy.

The entire city shuts down and huge parties are held everywhere. Even along the banks of the Seine River that runs through the middle of Paris. My two best Paris buddies and I found ourselves along the banks of the Seine partying all night long. We danced and drank cheap French wine and ate good food and had a huge blast. One of my friends, Anastacia, was a line dancer back home in LA. She would go to cowboy bars and dance several times a week. She knew them all. The Achy Breaky, The Boot Scoot Boogy, and most importantly the Electric Slide.

Lily and I didn’t know any of these dances. Stacia decided to teach us the Electric Slide since it was the easiest. So there we were, three american girls that spoke bad French at best, on the banks of the Seine river in Paris at a huge party doing the Electric Slide. We were having fun and ignoring everybody else. After about 5 minutes of us doing this constantly, the music never stopped, we started to gain an audience. People were noticing we were doing the same moves, in unison, and too the beat.

I don’t remember how exactly it happened but our audienced eventually turned into students. We were teaching the young, what we thought were the cool, French how to do the Electric slide. By the end of the night we had about 200 people behind us doing the Electric slide along the banks of the Seine to European techno music. We only stopped when we were about to fall down. This was about 2 am. We’d been dancing since 4 pm.

The thing that really makes this story great is the fact that we missed the last Metro to La Citè by about 15 minutes. So we had to walk. At 2 AM. Through the middle of Paris. In our “Party Clothes”. Three young, attractive, American girls walking through Paris, half-drunk, trying to find our way back home. Needless to say we found we didn’t find La Citè. We DID find an all night Mickey D’s and a phone book to call a cab. Which only cost us about $10.

So not a bad evening. I’m surprised I can remember most of it. come back tomorrw so i can tell you more tales of my exploits in Paris. Like the time I was walking around on the 4th story ledge of my dorm.


~ by kitkatsknits on August 8, 2008.

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