Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bonjour Koo-Koo

One of my goals for my time in Paris is to explore a different part of Paris each day.  I need to see and experience the city to write about it properly.  And being alone in Paris, it's important to resist the urge to stay in my comfort zones doing nothing but drinking coffees in my favourite arrondissements.  I need to make myself a bit uncomfortable.

It didn't rain today which meant I could finally visit le Jardin du Luxembourg en route to my planned destination of the market street rue Mouffetard in the 5th.  I poked around the stalls and shops for a couple of hours (apricots, cucumber, pears and baguette) and spent some time visiting Église Saint-Médard.  It's a lovely church, tiny compared to others in Paris, and I had the great fortune of being its only visitor at 11 this morning.  

Fontaine de l'Observatoire - one of my favourites in Paris
Home to write for the afternoon and then a leg stretching walk around the Champ de Mars.  Parisians love to complain about the weather but as soon as there is even a hint of sun, they are sprawled out on every available space enjoying its warmth.  Champ de Mars was buzzing with activity tonight; the ponies and donkeys were giving rides, the push-cart track was set-up with children anxiously awaiting their turns, the merry-go-round was in full spin, and dogs of all shapes and sizes ran through yesterday's puddles.

Children's cafe hidden in the Champ de Mars. They sell
barbe à papa (father's beard) aka cotton candy!
French greeting of the day...

"Bonjour Koo-Koo!"  Said with much affection and followed with much cheek kissing over morning coffee.

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

In 2011, Chris and I stayed in an apartment near rue Mouffetard.  Today I walked the same route looking for signs of our previous Paris.  I was not disappointed.  We used to stop daily at our neighbourhood fleuriste to cuddle her black Lab.  When I walked past this morning, the Lab was lying in its exact same spot looking the same except for a new distinguished white muzzle.

Indecent food item of the day...

In Paris you should always eat where French people are eating.  On rue Mouffetard, I noticed a crêpe shop with a long line.  At the front I was greeted my a Monsieur wearing white Ipod ear buds and working two sizzling crêpe pans.  The inside of the shop was no larger than my apartment's WC.  I ordered a beure sucre for 1.50 euros and it came to me steaming hot and dripping with butter.  Butter was dripping all over the tips of my Converse and I was licking my fingers as fast as I was eating the delicious crêpe.  If i had been really hungry, I could have ordered the shop's plat for 5.50 euros: crêpe salé (ham, cheese, egg) + crêpe sucre (jam, Nutella, sugar) + Coke, coffee or beer. 

This is a "merveilleux" from Aux Merveilleux de Fred. When I saw it in the window for a mere 2.90 euros, I had to buy it. It was handled with white gloves and came in its own carrying box. Taste test to come...
Indecent tourist of the day...

Earlier today I stopped in the Tuileries to write and the man sitting next to me was having a F-bomb screaming match on his Blackberry while his wife sat nearby picking at the dirt on her Coach bag.  It was like a scene from the film Wall Street was being re-enacted in the Tuileries.  "You are not going to f*#* with my organization! I am the boss!"  Very dramatic and very inappropriate.   

View from my "writing spot" in the Tuileries



Cassie Piasecki said...

I think I just gained five pounds. I definitely did NOT eat enough when I was there in October.

denise said...

I am still reading and enjoying my virtual tour of Paris..

When I visit Paris alone I always notice more than when I am distracted by my husband or friends.

Love your observations and your eavesdropping.

Love Denise

Anonymous said...

I have it on good (Parisian) authority that it's spelled "cou cou" and used lots in written form too :)

Erin said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for the "cou cou" correction. I did a bit more research and it seems to be an expression to indicate you saw the person recently. And obviously very informal. Anyway, I love it and am going to use in greeting when I get back to Victoria!