The Champs de Mars is a beautiful place to run and when I'm in Paris, I
take advantage of the opportunity by doing so. It's a little more than
a mile to make one loop around the park, and, terrific view of the
Eiffel Tower notwithstanding, I have to admit my favorite part about the
jogging path there is it's close to my hotel. No matter where I fall
over, it's a short crawl back.
I was running the Champs de Mars earlier this week when I saw some guy driving an antique car down the gravel path and through a large group of people. At first I thought he'd made a wrong turn, somehow involved in a bad French traffic-circle snafu. Until I saw several women wearing 1940's era hairstyles and dresses, and men in WWII army uniforms. I also saw a few guys carrying large video cameras and it didn't take long for acitymom's sharp mind to realize they were making a movie.
Well now, this doesn't happen every day. How exciting! I couldn't wait to tell--well, anybody. On my next pass, another antique car had joined the set and I adjusted my path to remain clear. Not because I didn't want to be in the background of a WWII movie, but because I was wearing a bright, lime-green running jacket and, as everyone knows, lime-green wasn't even on the color wheel until, like, 1967.
I was halfway around the other side of the park when I heard the gunfire. Now, as we all know, we're supposed to remain vigilant in Europe these days and I, for one, have been doing my part. In Chicago, when the sirens stop wailing long enough for us to hear the gunfire, we know it's time for us to dive into the bathtub.
In France, however, it seems they haven't received the memo. They walk toward the gunfire. Now, I'm no expert, but this doesn't seem very bright to me. Especially considering it was machine gun fire and there actually are real gendarmes on patrol all through the park, carrying real machine guns. For all anyone knew, it could have been actual gunfire.
Now, maybe they don't have acitymom in France, someone to explain to their children why we don't walk toward gunfire or wear red hoodies in bad neighborhoods, but I watched several groups of people turn with a concerned look, then walk toward the rat-a-tat-tats. From where we were, you couldn't see it was a movie being filmed over there. This did not seem terribly bright to me. (Same goes for another woman jogger--who kept passing me by the way, which is no reason for me to not like her in the first place, I'm just saying--who kept running through the middle of the set of the movie being filmed. It made me secretly happy when one of the crew finally called her out for it.)
When the gunfire erupted once again, I saw another couple turn toward the sound with a concerned look.
"Ils font un film," I said in my lame French as I ran by. Acitymom just trying to do her good deed for the day, calming the nerves of nervous tourists from within the safety of her lime-green running jacket. But the look of concern didn't disappear from their faces.
Of course not. I'm certain my horrible French accent mortified them. I didn't look back to see if they walked toward the gunfire and the movie set or not. I was just happy for the opportunity to tell somebody.