i had been on the road almost a week. the trip had taken me from paris to london, to paris, through germany, down through switzerland and into austria. from there italy and then across italy back into france.

this is montgenevre. one of my favorite towns in the alps.

i was pleased to return to france. speaking even a little of a language is the critical difference between understanding a culture and being lost in it. my french is far from perfect, but i can understand most of what said and make my intentions known (if not clear).

by the time we got back to paris, gas tank on fumes, i was wiped out. the road had started to seem gruesome and long and the confines of a car are bothersome. it had only been a number of weeks since i'd gotten back from my roadtrip through the US and i dont think i was much in the mood for driving in a car. i prefer motorcycles. especially on roads where there are steep curves, clean air and, effectually, no speed limits.

as i write, i sit on the fifth floor of an apartment in the 10th arrondisement. from where these last three photos were taken. since it seems i'll have ample opportunity to report on paris in the future (see next page) i'll refrain for now.

other random notes:

on germanic and latin. and things noticed while walking in the streets;

latin countries (of which i have seen only six or seven), are identifiable by two noises; sobbing women and screaming men. this is a natural state for both genders because women are as fundamentally sad as men are fundamentally angry for reasons i wont go into here. in germanic countries the sounds heard are of engines and other machinery.

but some civilzations are more advanced than others. by this i mean they tend towards homogenization.

the germanic countries, which i've only seen five or six, lack the same differentiation of gender. they prefer the yellows and blues of discipline and shock to the oranges and aquas of sensuality and sentimentality. what i mean to set up is a proportion, or ratio: orange is to yellow as aqua is to blue; discipline is to sensuality as shock is to sentimentality. this is to say 'as germanic is to latin.'

the proportion is finally

germanic : protestant :: latin : catholic.

the catholic (or latin mentality), will live for the body and commit the sin with after-the-fact-absolution as a given. the protestant, (the germanic mentality), will deny themselves and their desires, choosing thought over action, and law over passion.

second on men and women, and things noticed while making love;

latin countries have distinguished the sexes in an effort to determine idenity and, despite what americans would like to tell europe, this has provided solace and a sense of self confidence.

in comparison to europe, some of the women of the united states seem like stunted men; hard, competitive, sour, and frowning. this will cause women to hate themselves because they are becoming something they already despise. and men will be filled with dread at this process as well. in contrast, many of the the women of europe seem to be beautiful flowers, open to the sun and themselves, while the men preserve a culture of apparent strength that, as society progresses, gradually fades. (note: despite the decline of masculinity, kindness is a continued effort on the part of both parties, and this absolves both armies of their sins. kindness is the absolution the sexes provide each other with. in this is forgiveness of the sins men have comitted in the past and the sins women will be committing in the future.)