Friday, August 5, 2011

Paris, Day 12 -- Random thoughts on a rainy Paris evening

I have caught a little cold.  Don't you hate it when that happens on a trip?  I ventured down to the Pharmacy with my carefully Google-translated query on my phone, and displayed it for the pharmacist.  He looked kindly upon me and my fractured French, and set me up with some cold medicine.

Now I'm sequestered with Pepito and Bout de Zan in the flat, listening to the rain and with firm plans to go to bed early and wake up well and ready for more adventures in the morning.  I decided that I'd give you a few random thoughts on Paris, to tide you over, Dear Readers.

  • It's fascinating how each culture has its preferred distance that people stand away from each other.  I think France's is closer than the United States'.  I'm curious to see what Britain's is (I have my suspicions).  And the two young Korean women who I met in line at Sainte-Chapelle the other day threw their arms right around me when I agreed to have my picture taken with them.
  • Man-purses are acceptable here, and French men tend to dress well enough in general that they don't look at all odd.
  • I've never used the word "cosmopolitan" to describe anyone before, but it came to mind while watching the French men come and go.  They really do dress well.  The only people I know back home who I might describe as cosmopolitan are Gay Talese (his father was a tailor), the character of Patrick Jane on "The Mentalist," and certain handsome gay men of my acquaintance.  You know who you are...
  • I love cities with rivers running through them.
  • I think of Jim, Dan and Erica, who are taking turns taking care of my cat back home, as Team Paris. I love and appreciate Team Paris.  This trip wouldn't have been possible without them.
  • I wonder how people managed to travel without all the cool technology we have now.  They must have carried little French/English dictionaries in one pocket, and their maps in the other.
  • I loved the movie "Ratatouille."  If you haven't seen it, you should.
  • Not knowing the language of a place, and walking around in it, must be a little bit like being deaf. Words wash right over you.  It's a strange feeling.  
And a little bit of story:

It was a dark and stormy night in Paris. The playwright leaned out her window, through the geraniums and fuchsias, and let the water wash away her fever. The neighbor's dog barked at the thunder, the pickpockets and prostitutes ducked into doorways, handsome young men in artfully tailored clothes lit each others' cigarettes. "You can see the whole city from here," she thought. She closed the window, and poured another glass of wine, and began to write.

Bonne nuit, mes amis!

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