La Coulée Verte René-Dumont is a 4.7 km long park that is built on an obsolete railway track. I decided to take an early morning stroll before meeting a friend at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs to see the Fashion Forward – 300 Years of Fashion exhibition. So I took the Green-6 line to the Belair metro stop, walked up Boulevard de Picpus, went down the stairs and joined the Coulée. I believe that the Coulée starts a bit further out at the Bois de Vincennes chateau.

The Coulée has been created with health and wellness in mind. At several locations along the path there are outdoor exercise machines to build muscle, old train stairways left standing to run up and down for cardio, wall plaques from the Mayor of Paris with messages about healthy living.

There were many people on the path; young and old, leisurely walking, fast walking and running.

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The gardens are beautiful and as the path meanders up over the city into the bright sunlight and down into the cooler shady tunnels, you really feel that you are getting healthier as each second passes!

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Apparently in the Jardin de Reuilly there is a water fountain that dispenses fresh drinkable sparkling water. I wasn`t able to find it and as I had to meet my friend I didn`t take the time to look for it. In addition to the beautiful gardens, the elevated section of the path gives a different view of the city and unusual architecture of some of the buildings.

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It was on this section of the path that I encountered an inebriated man.  He was walking ahead of me and singing loudly.  I quickly scooted past him as he took a breath before launching into the next chorus, when he took a pause and then loudly yelled out to me in French “Madame! You have marks on your coat that look like….caca!”  I felt the back of my coat and didn’t feel anything unusual, looked over my shoulder at him and decided he was just drunk and continued walking on.  But as I walked on a hundred metres or so, I started wondering if he wasn’t just drunk and was really trying to be helpful.

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So off came the coat, I turned it around and to my horror there in plain sight were two spots right on the backside area that looked like……CACA!!!!  I was mortified and immediately starting wondering what is it and when did this happen?  Exactly how long have I been walking around with these stains on my coat in the chic city of Paris?!  After closer examination, the two “caca” stains were actually clumps of tree seeds that I must have sat on when I was in Parc Monceau the day before.  The tree seeds had been blowing around so much the day before that it almost looked like it was snowing.

So I assume the evening before when that handsome Frenchman in the fancy little grocery store (the one with the doorman and where you have to wipe your shoes on the doormat before entering) who gave me that second look as he left wasn’t casting an admiring glance.  He was wondering, “What does that crazy woman have on her coat?!”

Always listen to the singing drunk man….

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