— Someone from grantland said this during a podcast; I couldn’t tell who. It’s such a true statement. I wish I had learned it earlier, although I’m sort-of glad I destroyed some friendships. In the long run, it might be better for me that they ended. I’m still sad though.
— Drunk Oxford boy screaming at me outside a men’s room. #57DaysLeftInEngland
— Nancy Jo Sales.
We walk around the noiseless village, and my head is quickly filling with visions of battles, plagues, raw-sewage dousings, all the stories that possibly were, and I can’t locate the resolve to face them. I close my eyes and picture being on the Peter Pan ride, sitting in a miniboat that flies out of the Darlings’s window and sails into the sky, above it all. The ride does a usual Disney maneuver, making it appear as if you’re about to slam into a wall, but then a door swings open and at the last second you are safe.
As a kid, I wished with all my heart that life would be like that, that in the last moment I would know, as Joan of Arc believed, that there is a force, and it is on my side, protecting me. Like a parent should, and at a point - sometimes sooner, sometimes later - just cannot. I rub the subsiding bruise on my arm and wish Walt were still around."
Soon, the fireworks start. We find a spot near other Americans, where there isn’t a blue haze. Americans, it seems, are pretty good at following the rules, sticking to the designated smoking areas. We watch an employee repeatedly point out to families who had blatantly scrambled over a chain-link fence that the railing was meant as a barrier. The employee tells us he has worked at the American parks, where they can set down just masking tape as a boundary for a parade, and the Americans will pay heed.
I feel an odd pride. Popular European opinion is that Americans troop all over the world, doing whatever they desire, without regard for others. But now I protest: our folks have more respect for adhesive tape and the sacrilege of smoking all over Disneyland than do the Europeans. Just try tacking down Scotch tape in Iraq and watch what happens…
There is no monorail in Disneyland Paris and no sky buckets to ferry you across the park. The idea of walking does not seem to be shocking here. Wandering around the park, I suddenly get the joke about what’s better about French Disney: no Americans. There’s no frantic rush to the next ride, or to the next show. Folks tend to move at an almost annoyingly sedate pace. Don’t they know they have to maximize their day? Get every last euro penny’s worth? Standing around smoking won’t do it. Also missing is the constant parade of howling children dragged past exhaustion to do more, more, more. The noise level, aside from the roar of the rides, is amazingly low, though punctuated intermittently by the folks waiting on line, who cheer those about to begin their rides, joyfully singing the bullfighter olï¿½ song."