I think my anthropology background (not to mention my love of a good story) often serve me well: used to being an outsider, I’m happy to observe strange new worlds. But I can’t deny that staying put in my PJs sounded just as appealing as spending twelve hours at PSYCHEdelight (no, really, that was the actual name of it).
And strange it was. Past the peripherique, we were now in St. Denis, just north of Paris. We turned down a darkly-lit road, the surreal scene beginning before we were even inside.
We entered a huge room with high ceilings, all dotted with a thousand tiny lights. This was Eiffel Docks. I could see why this place was used for film shoots; space enough for any manner of enormous sets.
We were in the techno room and it wasn’t long before I felt a headache coming on.
“Are you ok?” Jerome asked. I looked worse for wear already.
The repetitive sound (noise?) reverberated throughout my body; the bass seemed way too loud.
“Fine,” I said. “Just having a heart attack.”
We went outside to find a much smaller stage. The music here was “ambient” – much better for the headache. But, hello? Whose idea was it to set up a tent for this event? As if thin plastic walls provided any shield to the freezing temperatures and whipping wind. We’re outside, people! All this lounging on pillows floor-level is not fooling me.
Next room: Trance.
Two girls sat at a table offering make-up (face-painting?). The next table over was illuminated by strings of Christmas lights and a glowing painting of some Indian god (oh people, please). This table sold candy (for one can only assume, the munchies. Let’s get real).
Which brings me to the number of Red Cross volunteers in bright orange vests. Yes, at least 10 Croix Rouge workers armed with first-aid kits milled around, just waiting for something to happen.