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Saturday, May 07, 2005

a love grows fonder

Paris is a feast for the senses.

After breakfast yesterday-and after my post breakfast nap-I took off into the direction a certain discount district. I felt the need to escape the swarms of tourists and taste some of the real Parisian lifestyle. What I got instead of swarms of tourists, was swarms of Parisians, pushing through each other in order to save a few euros on dish soap, shoes, and underwear. I could have fought for some dirt cheap shirts, but my shopping tolerance just isn't what it used to be, and I took off in the other direction.

Lunch was at a small, rustic, country style cafe. I had a fresh mozarella salad smothered in rich extra virgin olive oil, which soaked up generously into my French bread. Next to me sat a mother in red four inch stilettos, pin striped trousers and a beautiful trench coat. God, French woman know how to dress. Her small boy sat charmingly across from her, and told his mother how stylish her trench was as they shared salads and pieces of cake.

After lunch I dissapeared into the underground cavern of transportation: le metro. Even the scungy metro systems are laced with beautiful patisseries, and reek of warm flakey crust.

I emerged from the metro to sunlight in my eyes, the shimmering river Seine, and a glimps of the Eiffel Tower through the tree tops. It is always a jump to the system to see such a famous landmark in real life.

Instead of waiting in line for hours to make my way up, I stared at it in admiration, smoking a French cigarillo, and took in its grandness and size. Once I was satisfied with the engravement in my mind, I set off along the Seine in search of Champs Elysées, singing the tune in my head: "Je me balladais, sur l'avenue, la coeur ouvert a l'inconnu, quand j'ai eu envie a dire bounjour, a n'importe qui..."

Crossing a footbridge, wind in my hair, soft sunlight in my eyes, it was hard to grasp how happy I felt. I man passing looked at me, lifted his arms in the air and yelled: "C'est incroyable, non?" I smiled in agreement.

I ate dinner in a smoky bar on the Champs Elysées, and watched people from my small window on the second floor. I drank house wine, ate bar nuts, and smoked cigarillos profusely for an hour beofre my order was even taken. I didn't mind, everything already felt so rich. When my hearty salad arrived, I devoured it happily and paid the bill.

Since the moment I got on the plane I have had a great appetite. I ate all the leftovers from the meal of the man beside me, as well as polishing off my own meal. Since I've been here, every meal has been savoured and fully eaten, even though I've never left the table too full.

I feel as if I've regained my appetite for life.


Blogger dbry said...

C'est incroyable, oui...All of this for you will be. I think the Metro is fantastic. I love that you recognize all the beauty in places most people don't. I am so happy for you.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

You make me want to be in Paris where I have tasted, in Lawrence Durrell's words, "the unmistakable keen knife-edge of happiness in the air... the pristine brilliance of a national psyche which knows that art is as important as love or food."

A year is this most beautiful city... what a life you have designed for yourself. Gloat. I am so happy for you. Je t'aime.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Full Of Gin-Morgan & Haley said...

Never eat the bar nuts Gill!!
(dirty dirty nuts...)

8:59 PM  

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