Les Arênes, Quartier Latin, Paris
Oh, the the change that time hath wrought. Where once slave fought slave in gladatorial combat, now men throw little balls at each others’. This is the remains of the ancient Roman Arena – les Arênes – not far form La Sorbonne and all the happy go lucky touristy folk, maps opened wide, lost looks plastered on face.
Locals come here. They play Petanques, roughly analagouse to Italian bocce, on any roughly graveled surface. And they take it seriously.
It’s a joy to sit around and watch this kind of life go on. We don’t see it back home, not with adults playing. Sure we go to soccer practice, but we big people never spontaneously set up a game like this. Not very often, at least.
I think we need more of it.