Fill? Finish!

Finished the exhibition today. Had some ideas for articles and got great input from some of our clients about trends in certain fields of business (the changing market of fill/finish services for vaccine products, for one thing). Also, one client pointed out a very bizarre “separated at birth” involving my “From the Editor” headshot. He promises to send me the other person’s photo; I’ll post about it when he takes care of that.

Around 1pm, the last of our freebie-magazines was gone, and I was ready to head back to Paris (3 hours before the official end of the show, but them’s the breaks; the last day of a show like this tends to be pretty quiet). I had some trepidation about getting on the RER train back to the city, after the morning’s adventure.

The trains in Paris are flat-out unpredictable. At the RER platform in St. Michel, there’s a sign with all of the RER stops on it. A lightbulb is illuminated for each stop that the upcoming train is going to make. If “Parc D’Expositions” isn’t lighted up, don’t get on the train. No problem.

Well, a few people told me during the show that they had followed that guide, and were still surprised to find their train zooming past the Parc stop, and on to Charles De Gaulle Airport. I figured they had just slipped up.

This morning, I got onto what was the right line. The train stopped at Gare Du Nord, an announcement was made in French, and almost everyone got off the train. I asked an english-speaker what was up. She said, “This train will go no further than Aulnay-sous Bois. We have to wait for two trains after this one.”

And she was right. Arbitrarily, the train’s stops had been changed after boarding. So we waited, along with two more train-loads of arrivals to the platform, and crammed onto the appropriate train. It was ugly, not least because so many of my fellow sardines are French.

But the ride home was quite easy, since it was mid-day and not a lot of attendees and exhibitors were riding. I got back to the room before Amy, who was out sightseeing (pictures tomorrow), and compiled a couple of Unrequired Reading items, because I’m a devoted Virtual Memoirist, and I always take care of my readers.

After she got back, we headed out to the Rodin museum, which I missed last time I was here (pictures tomorrow). I’d never really checked out Rodin’s work before, so I was struck by the bulkiness of a lot of his forms. The “bigfoot” expressionism of his figures was at odds with the airiness of the garden setting. But I’m gonna complain?

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we’ll take a mini-tour of Versailles, and get to Orsay (which I also missed during that 2002 visit) in the afternoon. If it rains, as is likely, then it’s Orsay in the morning and panicked present-buying and postcard-writing during the day. And uploading of pictures. I promise.

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