Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lights, camera, police... and a side of gluttony

Today was a productive/unproductive day. Steph was kind enough to take us to Jumbo this afternoon to get some lights and a ladder - despite having all our furniture arranged and our apartment pretty much finished, we still have naked wires hanging down from the ceiling in every room. I think I mentioned it before, but then again I've never been averse to repeating myself, so here goes: when you move into a new apartment here, it seems like ceiling lights are generally not part of the deal - each renter provides their own. We've been using floor and desk lights in every room since October or so. Our shopping trip today was meant to remedy that situation. We found several lights we liked - we're only one short for the dining room right now - in part because Mr K and I are at odds as to whether the dining room would benefit from a light... (I'm the 'aye' camp and Mr K is the 'nay' camp, in case you were wondering.)

On the way home, as we got close to our apartment, we saw the road ahead blocked off by either a parade or protest - it's so difficult to tell here sometimes. It was obvious that Steph wasn't going to be able to get through the crowd in less than 30 minutes, so we begged her to let us out near the train station and we would walk the last one third of a block - nice and easy! As we rounded the corner at our building, we saw what a good choice this had been. It seems that in addition to the parade-protest in front of our building, the police had cordoned off the park and hotel and parking lot behind our building. We stood around and watched for a few minutes - mainly because we were trying to see if it was possible to skirt the police tape and get to our favorite kebab place - nope. Still craving a bit of junk food, we headed to McDonalds (first time this year) to grab a quick lunch and get home so Mr K could grab his camera and take some pictures.

At McDonalds we had yet another mini-adventure. We're not sure if it was our faulty French or the confusion of a new employee, but somehow instead of getting Mr K's "Number Two Cheeseburger Meal" we ended up with 35 less francs and "two cheeseburger meals" in addition to my "chicken mcnugget meal." That means triple coke zero (with ice) triple french fries and two cheeseburgers - Gluttony Saturday! Clearly we've been out of the US for too long, though, as we were unable to eat the whole pile of food and had instead to store the extra fries and cheeseburger for later consumption...

As we downed our french fries and delicious, icy beverages, we stood on our balcony - Mr K with camera and me with my binoculars - and watched the police continue to accumulate in the parking lot below us. We watched as the police cleared out the hotel and brought a canine unit in to walk around. For over two hours, police wandered around the parking lot, going in and out of the hotel and shooing away anyone who approached the police tape. A large yellow van with blue lights pulled up - it looked like a bomb squad, but nothing came of it and the van's doors remained unopened. At six PM on the dot matters seemed to be taken care of - the police tape was taken down, the police loaded back into their cars, and the staff and guests allowed back in the hotel. We still have no idea what happened. Excitement!

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