Someone said my last blog seemed to skip the decision to go back to Paris. Just jumped into My Plane Leaving.
So, yes. I am returning. Is anyone really surprised? I mean, I did leave things in my apartment! Sure, they were things that she could just throw out. It’s not like I left my Degas pastel… If only I owned one.
So what’s the plan, Stan? Oh la la. Qu’est-ce que c’est le plan Alain?
Second verse, same as the first (thanks to Herman…). Second nine months? Same as the first?
It will be different. I am not sure what it will be like. I know things. I can navigate through life in Paris and in France. Funny, I really haven’t been speaking much French these past 3 months but my confidence level is very high. No hesitation. I will just jump right in, en francais. Last year I spent several months just figuring out how to survive.
I do have to get there first, though. This year I am approaching packing very differently. My suitcase and duffle weigh a combined 13.8 pounds. And I have sacks stacked around the bedroom with different themes – scarves, misc. kitchen, misc household, shirts, electronics, misc bath, and on and on. Each weighed separately and logged into an Excel spreadsheet. The only thing not bagged up yet are the jeans and slacks. Yikes. Probably the heaviest of the clothing. Right now I only have 7.2 pounds to go.
Two strategies. Load the carry on with all the heaviest things and pray for nice hefty guys to take pity on me. Or pay the extra fee for an overweight bag.. The limit per bag is 50 lbs. To take 20 extra pounds for a total of 70 pounds, you only have to cough up $200. Decision not made yet. I have 12 days to figure this out. (It is a free award miles flight so I could be tempted to pay the extra. The shuttle driver in Paris who will have to climb 3 flights will not be so happy.)
Through a stroke of brilliance! Well no, pure chance. I realized I am arriving on a Sunday. So the threat of a strike or manifestation is low. Nil. What self-respecting Frenchman would have a strike on a Sunday! They stay home on Sundays. They strike against the idea of working on Sunday! So I should have no problem getting from CDG to my apartment. I can pick up some things at the grocery store that is open 9-9 every day. And Monday I will be off to Monoprix for a big purchase with delivery for all my staples. I recall last year when I had to buy things based on how heavy they were and what I could carry on a single trip. No more! Livraison! (Delivery!)
My friends are waiting for me. I got a text from a friend with a photo of our Conversation cafe – said Cafe Ruc is waiting for you! Others are suggesting rendez-vous. I was offered a volunteer role of chairing the Bloom Day at the American Church in Paris (not Bloom as in the James Joyce Bloom Day – Bloom Where You Are Planted for new expats to learn about Paris and France.) I was honored, but the more I thought about it and the time it would demand, I declined. But museums and exhibitions beckon.
A friend here said, well, it will be like being retired here but you are there. Except that I have three new coaching clients, so I am not quite retired.
It will be different, that’s for certain. It will be the same, that’s for certain.
But above all, it will be Paris.