It was a lovely spring day in early May, one of those you can only experience in Paris. The four of us had dined in a little restaurant and had enjoyed a most excellent meal and some delicious wine. At midnight it was too early to go home yet and with the warm air spreading its breath over the city there was an invitation to stay outdoors and enjoy our new locality. We were also young and in a mood for a little adventure. For this reason and because we had heard that the park was a famed rendezvous place after dark, the nature of which we clearly didn’t understand, we decided to drive through the Bois de Boulogne, a reputed green expanse in the middle of the capital. It was really dark in the middle of the woods but we could see at intersections women dressed in little clothing and men without much fabric either and some strange creatures wearing exorbitant and colourful outfits that resembled exotic birds. We had a few giggles as we went through various areas that were clearly dedicated to specialist trade. Don’t ask me how we ended up in a cul-de-sac but that we did. Strangely there were a few cars parked at the end. We could see people inside that seemed to be waiting, for what we were not sure but there certainly was an air of expectation as our beams flowed slowly over their faces. We had stopped laughing at that stage as we were perhaps intruding on some secret gathering of which we did not want to partake. Suddenly a minibus flashes its beams in our direction. Jean-Yves, the driver flashes back, some insanity we would never quite forgive him. At this moment we urge him to drive off, we’ve obviously disturbed a couple wanting some privacy! The second we turn around the minibus starts its engine and begins to follow us. We leave the dead end slowly to show that we intend no offence and are just departing quietly. At the junction we turn right, so does the other vehicle. We speed up, so does it. We slow down, so does it. We are completely lost and have no idea how to leave the park and take one turning after another the minibus still on our tail. Ensues a tragi-comical pursuit through the alleyways. Jean-Yves speeds up again minibus hanging behind us. We’ve been going in circles as we pass one of the women we have seen earlier; perhaps she is already back for another encounter or maybe she has not had much luck. We don’t even dare joke about it, so desperate are we to get rid of the leech that has attached itself to us. Jean-Yves turns left suddenly and left again and we arrive at a junction where a police car is stationed. As swiftly as it had attached itself to us, the minibus disappears. It is in silence that we return home. The four imbeciles that we were had, we learnt later, entered an area where couples would meet to exchange partners and the code for consent was flashing lights!
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