Apr 19, 2008
Paris record convention: a whiff of french sweat
5 hours in a pit at the underground record convention, Porte de Champerret (17th arr.) No windows, no A/C and a bunch of sweaty French men in their mid-forties. Hecka dudes with 5 o'clock shadows and long hair presenting a multi-colored variation of ponytails: whitish, grayish, yellowish, black, straight, curly... There was a fair share of the balding type with no hair on top and long hair in the back, kinda like the bald guy's mullet. A "party in the back" compensating for the bareness on top. There were some women too, like the three old ladies standing by the hip hop crates, talking about their trip to Eurodisney with the grandkids. Or a younger woman, bleach blond with tiny braids and dressed up rockabilly style. And then there was us two, waving through emanations of body odor - smells that reminded me of all the literature i came across about French people not showering enough and not knowing about a thing called anti-perspirant. It hit me like a ton of camembert cheese. Chess and i were listening to records from a British seller with a huge collection of records bought in the U.S, brought back to Europe - listened to by an American girl in Paris - and that will probably end up back in their country of origin. So we were digging through a lot of disco-funk-boogie records and listening to a huge amount of songs until two French dudes came around and started looking at records while making conversation with us. The short bald one with the mud flap kinda nicely asked us to hurry up. I thought the guy wanted to check out the records underneath our record player so i offered we move to the side. No, the guy didn't care about the records, he wanted access to the RECORD-PLAYER. And his friend wanted to listen to some SEALED records on OUR record-player. Pfffff.
A few cigarettes were lit here and there. Another reminder that I was in France where there's a law against smoking in public places. Cigarettes smell good when they cover the smell of sweat.