Metro, by night, Paris

There is excitiement, and a tinge of fear, of pickpockets and crowds and deserted neon lit stations. The air smells of strawberry cleaning fluid and piss and sulphur. And beneath the City of Light I travel, under names that inspire romance and glory and beauty, a guest in this Parisian underworld, on a system of bright trains and dark tunnels that snake under monolithic boulevards and manicured parks, huge monuments and seedy quarters of sin and despair. Welcome to the metro.

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