This may be quite odd, but I actually enjoy taking the last metro home. There are a lot of interesting people on the metro at 2am. Not only that, but I enjoy it because it is one of the few moments and places that Paris drops all pretension.
During the day, no one talks on the metro; you get on, you try to find a seat, you stare at your feet. Perhaps there are a few “pardons,” but other than that no one looks at you and no one speaks. Everyone has somewhere important to be, they have no time to smile. The only people talking loudly and walking slowly are the tourists. Oh those Americans. For shame. And you most definitely do not eat on the metro. Paris is much too classy for that kind of behavior. I ate a pain au chocolat once time after class, and I could feel judgment with each bite.
At night, all those unspoken rules go out the window. People sit or stand in groups, they talk loudly, laugh, and sometimes drink on the metro. They leisurely get off the metro attempting to keep their balance, and turn around a few times to find their exit, without purpose or plan. Oh and the women and their fashion. Classy women with their dresses and tights. Younger students with their black skirts and boots. Models with their high heels and skinny jeans. Oh and we can’t forget the physical displays of affection. All the time. Disgusting yet annoyingly adorable.
Almost everyone getting on at that time of night is either slightly tipsy or drunk. Prime people watching time. I saw a guy down a burger the other night without a care. I mean he was really enjoying that burger. It is not uncommon to see friends passing a bottle of wine between stops or blasting rap music to get ready for their next party. One of my favorite times was when a group of musicians came on and played Don’t Worry, Be Happy, and the really drunk people on the metro started singing along.
To be honest, going out in such a big city late at night is an entirely new concept for me. So many people heading to different places in the middle of the night, most of them seemingly happy. It is such a relief to get a break from the deadpan expressions that define people on the metro. I really do think if everyone were constantly tipsy, the world would be a better place.