Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Getting My Paris Legs

Silly, delusional me thinking I had skipped the jet lag phase of the trip.  Of course I slept for 7 hours on my first night here; I hadn't slept for the previous 24.  This morning wide awake at 4 am though stayed in bed until 7:30 with my Kobo and a terrible equestrian themed rip-off of 50 Shades of Grey.  Disgusting. 

If you can believe it, I went out again last night for a long walk.  Obviously I had to visit the Eiffel Tower (still there!) and then I wanted to find some long sleeve t-shirts to keep me warm during this rainy cold spell.  I am not complaining but I am starting to think that "Paris-in-the-springtime" is a myth as I am always cold here in the spring.  Naturally I couldn't find a long sleeve t-shirt anywhere but I did enjoy browsing H & M's selection of feathered, cropped, see-through tank tops. Especially the ones in leopard print.  I probably could have found one at the GAP but even if I was freezing to death, I wouldn't shop there in Paris. 

Waking up early also meant that I had a lot of time to think about what I want to accomplish in Paris.  And by "think", I mean "panic".  What if I don't accomplish anything?  Yesterday all I really did was walk to BHV and buy a flat iron.  Not very inspiring.

Aside from writing, I have a list, a very long list, of all the things I want to see and do this spring.  Many of them I have never done before like ride a bike or eat oysters in Les Halles.  But what if all I do is walk around the same arrondissements and buy sandwiches from Paul?

I knew that when I woke up at 4 this morning that today would be a long day and I would likely feel out of sorts and unmotivated.  It's fine and I had planned for a few quiet days, to get my Paris legs and visit familiar places.  So I had to take my own Paris advice today and try to relax and not get worked up about missing something.

I walked and walked.  I went for coffee at one of "our places" near Musée Orsay and forced myself to stand at the bar alone drinking a coffee and licking croissant crumbs off my fingers.  I window shopped at many of my favourite stores, dodging busloads of Asian tourists who seem permanently in line at Chanel or Louis Vuitton.  I browsed book stores and rode the métro from Notre Dame to Place de la Madeleine where for the first time I noticed the incredible stained glass windows at the station.  I bought a chocolate éclair from Ladurée for my dessert tonight.  I crossed the Seine at Pont Neuf and strolled along Rue Saint Dominque delighted by the different views of the Eiffel Tower - now you see me, now you don't.  I stocked up on Badoit, bought a demi-baguette, a roasted chicken leg and finally some flowers from Cler Fleurs, playing the role of a Parisian.

Cler Fleurs flowers.  Not quite as beautiful as the ones Chris bought me in 2011.
Now I am home and kind of tired thinking I may not make it out again tonight.  I may just stay in with my chocolate éclair, roasted chicken leg and 5 euros bottle of wine.   Tomorrow is another day and I feel ready to explore new parts of beautiful Paris.

Big Paris plans tonight!
 Best moment today...

Watching a nun shop for olive oil at the La Grand Epicerie. Nuns must be very well looked after in Paris! 

Best discovery today...

A children and parents' hair salon just off Rue Bac.  Instead of salon chairs, clients sit on wooden, pastel coloured vintage looking carousel animals: llamas, rabbits and horses.  The shop was guarded by a cat that looked very much like Sophie - expect way less fat.  Quelle surprise! 

Weirdest thing I saw today...

I sat next to an immaculately groomed, stunningly pretty Parisian on the métro who was eating Chicken McNuggets, complete with BBQ sauce, straight from the bag. 


Cassie Piasecki said...

Isn't the infiltration of America's poor habits into Parisian life disgusting (McDonald's)?
Keep writing so that we can live through you!

Cassandra said...

Forget the eclair...I want the box it came in!