Mon Oct 29, 2001 | day 49
Ok Star Wars fans, listen up. Have you ever had that dream where you are sitting in a Parisian restaurant with two bounty hunters and a captain of the Empire? Ok, neither have I, but last night sure did seem like a dream come true.
The reason I came back to Paris for the weekend was to attend a convention in which actress/model/friend Michonne Bourriague was a guest. In case you didn't know, I used to run a fan site called AurraSing.net which wass dedicated to everything and anything Aurra Sing, a Bounty Hunter who was briefly seen in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Michonne played said bounty hunter. Although we had never met in person, we have been talking on the phone and via email for over two years, so meeting in person was bound to happen sooner or later. But who would have guessed that it would happen in Paris?
Michonne was as sweet in person as she was over the phone. Of the hundreds of French men in attendance, I felt like the luckiest. My rank soon became "The Luckiest Man in the World" when, moments before the autograph line started moving, Michonne whispered in my ear an invitation to join her "and some friends" for dinner. And what a night to remember!
I arrived at her hotel to find her with "her friends:" her manager and his wife, Ken Colley (a British actor who played Captain Piet in Star Wars), Paul Blake (another Brit who played the bounty hunter Greedo) and his wife, and a funny American named Ted Raimi, who played a character on the TV show Xena: Princess Warrior. A very Twilight Zone-ish evening unfolded.
We chatted for a while in the lobby and then strolled down the beautifully lit streets of Paris to a nearby restaurant called "Brasserie Lorraine." At first, I was dumbfounded by the menu. Not by the names of the entrees but by the prices. I chose the cheapest item, "Roast loin of lamb with wild thyme, garlic in its skin and darhin potatoes," which set me back a little more than a complete day's allowance! But it was worth it. To sit at a table with this company only happens once in a lifetime.
The evening was brimming with life. Ted, who's comedy-relief character on Xena is named Joxer, made all of us just about fall out of our chairs laughing a few times. Michonne was quiet and reserved most of the time. Paul and Ken were full of stories of famous actors they have worked with in their 40+ year careers. Paul's wife, Katie, was a famous ballet dancer. And me, I tried so hard to keep the conversation from coming back to me and my travels, but thanks to the group's curiosity, it seemed to come up a few times. It was as if I was "Jack" from the film Titanic - with a group with such flavorful backgrounds, they seemed to want to hear about little old me!
Just as it started, the evening ended in front of their hotel, in the shadow of the Arc du Triumph. I missed the last bus to camp, which meant I had to walk a mile back, but I didn't care. I really had a lot of fun rubbing elbows with these people in such a classy French restaurant.
In a few hours, I will be jumping on the first of FIVE trains I need to take to get to my next destination: Sibiu, Romania. I plan to explore the Eastern European country for the next week or so and spend Halloween sleeping underneath Count Dracula's castle in Transylvania.
I hope you too have a good Halloween. Don't make your "Decapitated Taliban" or "Zombie Taliban" costumes too gruesome!
Till next time,