Chucks in Paris

On Beards —

The reaction for the most part is the same. Strange looks, whispers, rude youths hollering out as I walk by. These are par for the course of a true beardman. That said there are those experiences that make up in spades for them. In Edinburgh a young spanish couple had a boy no more than 3 or 4 years old who they couldn’t get to stop pointing, jumping, and yelling, “Barba, barba, barba, grande barba!” In ireland on the walk to Wicklow an older gent cycling past shouted a reassuring, “Magnificent beard!” In Scotland walking to YWAM the first night a young lady leaned out of an apartment window above the street to shout an enthusiastic, “Great beard!” In Paris walking through the tunnels for the Metro a deaf guy even motioned “huge beard” to his girlfriend and then pointed in my direction for her to turn and see. (That’s the first time I’ve seen beard signed, but it’s fairly obvious when you see it.) I actually appreciate it that a dad leaned down to his daughter to point out the giant beard on that guy(at least that’s what I imagine he said as she looked up after) Though I think so far my favorite was while riding the Metro in Paris a young boy about 2 or 2 and a half looking over his dad’s shoulder actually reached out to touch the beard as his dad was taking a seat. He continued to be mesmerized by it during the entire ride and when he got off I gave him a little wave and he waved back. I guess back in regular life I’m so used to being around familiar people that I forget what an oddity it is to have a ginormous beard. I will say one thing by and large that among the bearded there is great commraderie and recognition. You feel an instant kinship or link with fellow beardmen (I suppose you would beard women too, but I’ve been fortunate so far to avoid that particular meeting). I’ve even had the beardless say that my ginormous beard made me more approachable and accessible to talk with upon initial contact, which I would have thought it would have an opposite affect. So there you have it, my observations on beards while traveling and otherwise.

I also have a few pictures from Paris too and one last one from Scotland.


5 thoughts on “Chucks in Paris

  1. With the tour de France going on, you are “lucky” if you got a motel room. Look at the countryside as well as the town. Countrysides are where the ordinary people are – in town like Paris – anybody and everybody is likely to be found. How do you like the streetside “Potties”?

    They have a great museum in town and some special “homes” and castles to see. Take your time and enjoy.

    Maybe you will find a “young lady” that enjoys rubbing your beard as well as a 2 year old!

    Love ya. Grandma and Grandpa Jack.

  2. Eli: I forgot to tell you much of Europe takes a 30 day summer vacation all at the same time and everyone is off somewhere for a summer holiday. The factorys close, etc. so it may be a bit hard to find accommations. Might be good to check ahead for reservations.

    Sorry, I forgot. Grandma

  3. Eli,
    I liked the stories of the kids with your beard, not unlike Janelle just before you left running her fingers through your beard. I have to say that since your beard, I have become one of those people who will say nice beard to a complete stranger.
    When encountering rude youth, don’t become like Elisha and curse them in the name of the Lord. I don’t want to hear of bears coming out of the woods to tear them apart on your behalf. I never have understood that story in 2 Kings 2.
    I wish I would have had a camera with me when I picked Montessa up in St. Louis last week. We say a guy on a cycle that had horns attached to his bike helmet much like your viking helmet. You’d have loved it. I gave him a thumbs up on the way by. It’s a much more interesting world with your kind of non-conformist personality.
    Have fun in France, hope you get to see some portion of the Tour.
    Love, Mom

  4. I came across this quote and it made me think of your travels.

    “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
    There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
    There is society, where none intrudes,
    By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
    I love not man the less, but Nature more…”
    -Lord Byron

  5. As mentioned a week or so ago, I too am finding unexpected happiness in my (although completely uncomparable) beard-dom. This post made me laugh uncontrollably. Thank you for making one of the worst days in a while much better. I miss ya.

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