Did I really stop writing for 11 days? It might seem so to my dear readers – but I have been composing blogs in my heads, jotting down notes, and anticipating subjects. It’s just that my second guest, Ms. Shivaun, kept me too busy during her visit! And mais oui, it’s a simple answer to the title question – Paris, of course.
April 30 – Haircut Day two & Guest Two.
Guest Two has arrived. I have her permission to use her name. (I have realized I do need to be somewhat discrete in this blog – my accountant advises me that this is a book in the making! Trust your accountant to both enjoy something and see the possibility of income and write offs. Love her!) (And I am finding that I have followers who have discovered this blog through WordPress. Welcome! You are welcome –and encouraged – to leave me a comment –private – and tell me how you chanced upon my page.) So. Discretion.
After that disclaimer! Shivaun is here! She managed to navigate Charles De Gaulle aeroport and get on the Le Car Air France bus to Porte Maillot. She did it so well that she was there before I was. Great plans to be waiting as she got off the bus disintegrated in Iphone Imessage issues. It seems you have to actually turn Imessage on in order for your texts to come through. (Um. Mine was on….) Needless to say, I hot-footed it the 7 minute walk to find her waiting on the sidewalk. I didn’t hesitate! Two bises! That’s the French greeting – a kiss on each cheek. And we walked back and settled her in the apartment.
She loved my haircut. And asked for one herself. Now that I am a client, I felt I could make an appointment with Michel over the phone. The holiday lull of clients extended to Thursday because he had time for her in the afternoon. The stars align.
We had a couple hours so we set out to conquer her jet lag, see some sights before going to the salon. The key for jet lag is to stay moving once off the plane. We did that well, as I had us get off the bus at the wrong stop a couple times. I shrugged it off as more sightseeing opportunities – but she reads this blog so she will now know the truth.
This pic is of the flower market on Ile de la Cite.
Speaking of her reading this blog, that has taken some fun out of conversation. We are chatting away nonstop. Except she stops me all the time to say – oh yeah, I read about that. Oh yeah, I remember that too. Oh yeah, that was funny.
I am simultaneously complimented and irked. But I have decided complimented is a better energetic place in which to dwell.
The bus lets you see so much of Paris. Yes, it takes a bit longer than the metro, but if you have the time. Our sights – the Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde, Louvre, Notre Dame… and suddenly when we had to hurry to be on time – metro saved us. The appointment was for “seize” or sixteen or 4 pm. Having 8 minutes to spare, we stopped in a boulangerie (lunch had never happened) to pick up a quick bite. They warmed up a croque monsieur for us to share. Of course, there was nowhere to eat it in the shop. And I didn’t want to take it to the hair salon. So we found a little niche in front of a closed restaurant and hid behind our umbrellas to gobble it down. Because you cannot eat on the street in Paris – unless you are seated in a charming (or not so charming) sidewalk café.
Michel, my hairdresser, MINE, remembered me, but welcomed Shivaun with open arms and three bises and I felt supplanted. Jealous even. Shoot, I got just a handshake yesterday. After his warm welcome of her, he did turn to me and I did get the same treatment. So we made up.
Her hair cut is fabulous. Parisian chic! I am so happy I found him. And when he was done with her, he gave me a long careful look and waved me into his chair. Yikes. I told him yesterday that the left side needed to be a bit shorter, but he disagreed. I did what any self-respecting woman would do – trimmed it myself at home later. So Yikes. Did he realize I had chopped into his design? Well, no, actually. He cut more off the left side. And didn’t do anything to the right, so it wasn’t like he was fixing what I did. Whew.
When we left, he put his hands on my shoulders and told Shivaun that now I had a lot of addresses. Your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea what that means but he was very pleased with it. We speculate that maybe it means I have connections now? Perhaps I will ask him when I go back next time. I love my hair cut. (Did I day that already?)
Shivaun’s first French meal was a cheeseburger. (The croquet monsieur was only a snack.) I wonder what her son the chef will think of that? We went to a local place that I know. I had the supreme du poulet. But I had a bite of that burger and it was goooooood!
Fitting in during your stay is important. Followers know I prefer to be taken for a local. Shivaun is appropriately dressed and coiffured. Black. With a scarf for French flair. But she gives us away as Americans by being too polite. That doesn’t mean the French are really rude. But they are not as accommodating as Americans. We were almost finished with our meal – maybe 5 minutes of conversation from leaving – when a person came to join the two women next to us. They needed a third chair. As an almost French person, I would have shrugged and let them solve their problem themselves. Shivuan, in a most American response, jumped up and said “here take my chair – I will sit over here – we are almost done.” They declined. She pressed. She moved. They accepted.
And I hissed at her – don’t be so damn nice!!! Now they know for sure we are foreigners – and in particular, Americans. Please don’t take that to mean I do not like being an American. I am proud of my USA passport. But I must admit I would love to have a second passport from the EU. Life here would be simpler. And in my desire to be a local, I do want to blend in. France is changing though. I do see more sneakers –and now and then even white ones – one the European feet.