Where is that? Je Suis Parisenne?

There are benefits to packing early.  Less stress and wondering – you know how much the bags weigh (under 50 pounds please!) and it’s another task to check off the list.

There are also downsides… Like forgetting if you packed something you need and combing through the apartment and finally opening the bag to search… and find it.

But I think the benefits outweigh the negatives.  I trial packed the carryon today.  That was more difficult because it will hold the electronics – and I use the electronics – like the laptop I am composing this on right now.  But I got a good enough idea and all is well.

I also discovered another four bottles of water to give away.  I had already given my friend a couple bottles yesterday when I went out to her house for Christmas dinner.  Oh la la.  Such a wonderful meal – an entrée of salad and avocado, followed by a mushroom dish, followed by fish and vegetables followed by a salad followed by a cheese plate followed by a buche de Noel. (Christmas cake).  Accompanied by champagne with the aperitifs of veggies, dip, and humus and salmon.  Then a delicious white wine.  Whew! A splendid Christmas!

Today, Boxing Day, I could have been out in Paris in the sun but instead I walked the 2 miles in the apartment again.  And I was resting up for the evening dinner.  I know it is the standard Parisien dinner time, but gosh 8 is just too late!

Albert and his wife treated me to a delicious meal.  Three entrees that were delicious and each a separate taste and a wonderful main course followed by Les Meriveilles… a candy chocolate concoction that was beyond scrumptious.  With champagne and a light red.

I had met Albert’s wife for lunch in May and it wasn’t too exciting.  She spoke far too quickly for me and I was very hesitant with my French.  We seemed to mutually agree to not meet any more.

But tonight!  It was the best Christmas going away present I could ever have had.  At the end of 2 and a half hours speaking French all three of us… a real conversation talking over each other… she told me how much I had changed since we met.  She thought I even looked different! (Well, I do have Michel… the French hairstylist!) And I was clearly mastering French and looked so happy and Parisienne!

Could it get better?  Well, ya.  Albert was kind enough to send me home in a cab – not any taxi, the service Le Cab, somewhat Uber like but better.  After 3 minutes of silence, we started to chat and I talked the whole 30 minute drive – with his continued compliments of my French.

Why am I leaving?

Oh yeah… if I don’t, I will get kicked out.  Almost overstaying my legal limit.

And now at almost one a.m., I am hyped up and sleep is doubtful.  Tomorrow I can sleep in.  It’s my last day in Paris for 3 months.  I have said au revoir to all the important places and a bientot to the important people (good bye and see you soon).  Tomorrow evening I am treating myself to a concert at Sainte Chapelle.  That’s a good send off.

Is the blog over?  I don’t think so… I think that transition back to the States will still give me fodder for thought.

A big MERCI A TOUS to my readers for accompanying me on this journey.  If anyone wants to comment on my journey, what was significant, how I may have changed, or anything, I’d love to hear.

A bientot!

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