Sunday, June 8, 2008
The "Drug Wars" (18)-Paris ca. 1986
"I love Paris in the springtime.....Hey, look out! I love Paris in the fall...isn't that our street? I love Paris in the summer...go, go!
During my tour of duty with DEA in Milan, Italy (1982-87), I had a couple of occasions to travel to Paris on cases. On the second occasion, around 1986, I flew to Paris with an Italian Carabinieri officer. While we were at the DEA Office in Paris, we met a British Customs officer who was also there on another investigation. He was quite a character and kept us in stitches for the next several hours as we all went out to dinner followed by lemonade and cookies at a Paris Chicago style pizzeria and pub.
Our "designated driver" was a DEA agent name Rick, who had just transferred to Paris from Chicago a couple of weeks previous. Obviously, he was still learning his way around the city. So after a night of drinking, Rick took us all back to our hotel, which was located on one of those side streets that runs off the Arc de Triomphe. Around midnight, our car drove up the Champs d'Elysee, Rick driving and 4 or 5 of us riding in the car singing "I Love Paris". As we entered the traffic circle that surrounds the Arc, traffic was extremely heavy and cars were entering the circle from all the side streets. Rick was confused and inexperienced in Paris traffic. As he inched his way around the circle, we had to tell him when to stop and go as cars came speeding into the circle. (As I recall, cars entering the circle had the right of way-but who knows?) It was a nightmare (for Rick at least), and we must have driven in circles around the Arc about 4 times before we finally got off and found our hotel-singing "I Love Paris" all the while.