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Sunday, January 15, 2006

just give me a day to take you away

On Sundays Paris takes on a whole new rhythym.

It's a day to walk hand in hand, to take photos along the Seine, to go out for crepes, to stop in cafes, to try out your rollerblades, to go to museums and to take a day off for pleasure.

In the morning I walked down to a Sunday market near my apartment for fresh produce. Screaming merchants and rows of fruits and vegetables always give me my country fix. I went to my favourite vendor, always with a grin, and always boasting about his produce, and bought carrots, broccoli, apples, pears, beetroot and tomatoes. I stopped by a mediterranean stand and bought fresh hummus. I bought everything I needed at the first few stands, and spent the rest of the time feasting my eyes on the rest of the scene. There were roasted chickens, giant blocks of cheese, beets the size of my head, rows of fresh bread and discount make-up and clothing thrown into bins. I walked home with my goods and feasted on a fresh salad and a mound of hummus.

In the afternoon I took off to the Marais, where I met Mirka, a Czech au pair, in front of le Musée Carnavalet. We had planned to go in, but once again the sky was so blue that we knew doing anything indoors would be a shame. So we took off wandering, exchanging au pair horror stories and personal details. I led the way, exploring new streets, and when Mirka looked at me and said: "Do you know where we are?" I smiled and told her no, but that that was the way I liked it.

I split ways with Mirka in the metro with a kiss on each cheek and a plan to meet next week so that I could introduce her to sushi.

In the evening I took off for another rendez-vous with my Columbian friend Tatu and his friend Fernand. Fernand, another cheeky Columbian with love in his eyes, led us to a row of authentic Japanese restaurants, hidden in the back streets around the Opera. It was a trip to Tokyo; far from the touristic Japanese restaurants Paris is full of.

Every restaurant in this district was packed to the brim with Japanese, with no room left for our foreign bodies, but eventually we found a place with a few tables to spare. The restaurant was large and felt like a cafeteria. Under hydrogen light bulbs there was a kitchen in the front, with seats all around, and men throwing gyoza and vegetables into broilers by the second. Hungry diners dug deeply into their big bowls of noodles and rice while the chefs ran around in the centre.

We ended up sitting with a group of Mexicans Tatu and Fernand quickly befriended in the line. I had fried pork and vegetables along with a cold sake wine. It was simple food with simple prices, quickly prepared and simply served. But it was satisfying, and as Fernand pointed out, it would be wrong for me to complain when I had licked my plate clean.

Most of the dinner conversation was a mix of Spanish and French that had my head swimming in sake and languages. But the company was warm. The latino culture always makes me very aware of how cold my own is. I always feel reserved, quiet, and lacking in sexual experience. Even the way they speak screams sex. I would look like an idiot if I started rolling my r's and speaking at their speed and rhythym.

After screaming some Beatles songs in the streets with Tatu, I left these loud, beautiful individuals in the metro, and headed home. They invited me to come along to hammam steam room, but I wasn't feeling steamy, and knew that this would somehow lead to drinks and lack of sleep afterwards.

If there's anything I like about working hard throughout the week, it's that when the weekend comes, every moment is richer than a butter filled croissant.

It's been a delicious weekend, and I'm ready for the week ahead.

camera happy tourists
caroussel in the sky
look both ways
childhood memories
skating at hotel de ville
hotel de ville skating


Anonymous ss said...

I usually can't stand the Place Saint Michel, but your pic is gorgeous.

10:28 AM  
Blogger maitresse said...

what kind of camera do you use?? your shots are amazing.

2:36 AM  
Blogger baylor said...

Your post leave me with an insatiable hunger for everything you describe...and I love this!

12:30 PM  
Blogger b a said...

I'm enjoying your posts very much. I read a comment that mentioned your mother's blog. I would love to see it. Could you tell me where to find it? Thanks and keep writing. B A

2:57 PM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

Thanks to all. My camera is a Nikon coolpix digital. It takes great picures and I'm also a huge fan of editing the photos afterwards, although I have yet to get photoshop.

My mother's blog is, a great blog to visit for some real writing.

12:06 AM  

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