Connect to share and comment

A quick Saturday night burger in a Paris rarely seen

It's funny how no matter whether you're in London, New York or even Paris, fast food restaurants on a Saturday night are odd and usually quite depressing.

As a French man, I was preparing to make a homemade quiche, but because we had no gas in my building I had to go to the Quick — a European burger place — around the corner.

And as soon as I pushed the door, I entered into a bizarre world — the place was half empty, surely not as busy as on weekdays when workers rush in and out with brown bags - the tables were dirty with bits of fries, salt and ketchup stains.

The crowd was a random combination of idle and unusual characters.

Nobody that night came accompanied — a bunch of lonely souls finding solace in greasy food and a warm place to sit.

To my right, an old African man with a purple dress was looking in the air, his meal long finished, probably meditating.

Further up, a middle-aged Asian guy was nervously scratching his lottery ticket.

It was rather quiet at first, but then a middle-aged woman started to shout at the cashier, “you put poison in my meat! I am going to take this sandwich to the police.”

Bewildered at first, the cashier smirked and said “yeah right, go to the police station, or just call Sarkozy!”

At the counter, a teenager with a black leather jacket witnessed the scene and laughed out loud.

But to my right, it was business as usual, the Asian guy with the lottery ticket didn’t blink, and the old African man was still gazing in the air.

While near the door little kids were playing on the steps, the eclectic crowd kept coming in.

And there I was, a player in this unfolding drama, in a bittersweet Paris that hardly anybody ever sees —but Paris all the same.