Saturday, June 1, 2013

Frenchy Bitchface

Earlier this week I wrote that it's important to make myself a bit uncomfortable in Paris.  It's too easy, especially on my own, to get stuck doing the same thing over and over again.  Like walking the Champs or eating Paul sandwiches in the Tuileries.

I think we each have times in our lives when we are more willing to take risks, be afraid and possibly even fail.  I have spent the better part of ten years wishing to be in Paris.  As a married couple, Chris and I have shared the dream of Paris for almost six years.  We couldn't talk about Paris any more.  Together, and as individuals, we knew it was time to attack our dream.

Each day I wake up grateful to be in Paris. 

I took the metro to Porte de Vanves this morning to visit le marché du livre ancien et d’occasion (antique and used book market).  Interestingly the market is housed in the former horse market and slaughterhouse, at one of the entrances to Parc George Brassens.  This is area of Paris I was totally unfamiliar with and I loved the residential feel. I sampled croissant and bread at some wonderful, inexpensive bakeries and enjoyed how quiet it was on a Saturday morning.  I was looking for inspiration amongst all of the beautiful books!

Near the book market was the Vanves flea market. I will definitely return as I was a bit overwhelmed and unprepared to barter for treasures.  The selection of antique and costume jewelry was fantastic and I loved watching the French ladies dig for finds in the 5 euros clothing bins.  An impressive selection of taxidermy was also on display, including a matted squirrel missing one of his beady black eyes.

Tomorrow, I Vélib!

Introducing Frenchy Bitchface...   

Against my better judgment, I planned my walk home around a beer stop at one of the Trocadéro brasseries.  Though chaotic, the brasseries are a great place to people watch.  I ordered my usual little beer and was brought a massive, 12 euros monstrosity.  Annoyed, I decided to argue with the waiter.  My French became more sputtery until I had it - ça suffit! - and pushed the table back somehow managing to make my escape without knocking anything over.  I felt amazing! And the silver lining was I found a tiny tabac/brasserie on Avenue de New York where I enjoyed a 4 euros glass of wine with a stunning Eiffel Tower view.  Le bliss! 

One of the strangest things I have ever seen in Paris...

A French woman, the spitting image of Scooby-Doo's Velma Dinkley, leaning against one of the free toilets at the Vanves flea market.  In her cart, she had an upside down faded-pink flamingo, another flea market taxidermy find.  Its orange-ish, webbed feet were sticking out of the cart and I could see that its feathers looked a bit sticky.  I wonder what she paid?  And what she was going to do with it?

Things tourists say...

"No one is wearing sweatpants and flip-flops!"

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