Susie and I set out this morning for a walk to the Jardin du Luxembourg, a large park that lies in the 6th arrondissement on the border of the 5th. In the middle of the park is a large more or less circular pond in which children sail little boats their parents have rented at a kiosk. This morning, the pond was taken over by adult enthusiasts who showed up with rather fancy boats, some of them powered by engines and moved hither and yon, guided wirelessly by rather elaborate control boxes. The boat enthusiasts -- all men, by the way -- seemed to know one another and greeted one another with elaborate handshakes before engaging in lengthy discussions about the technical details of their boats.
In addition to sailboats of various sizes, there was a busy little harbor fireship complete with a man holding a hose from which, at the press of the controller's button, a stream of water shot out. The fireship was followed about by a model torpedo boat which, despite making menacing moves, was carefully controlled so that it did not actually bump into any of the other boats.
Everything was tranquil and utterly benign until my eye caught this:
Yes, that really is a model submarine, lurking under the water with only its conning tower showing! The scene took on an entirely new tonality. The submarine cruised the pond relentlessly like a shark. It had no markings that I could see, but I was sure that it was a Nazi U-Boat.
The Jardin will never be quite the same for me again.