Things go on even when you are gone…
Pretty amazing, that. I found the same thing happened in Sacramento while I was in Paris. They actually tore down and rebuilt the nearby Carl’s Jr restaurant. I had to ask – something just felt different.
And apparently the Parisians decided they could go on as normal even in my absence. There’s a tremendous amount of construction or refurbishing going on in my neighborhood. Starting with my own apartment building. Something is awry with the roof. So they put scaffolding up and made some kind of platform around the top floor – it’s encased in netting so nothing should drop on pedestrians. Then the scaffolding came down from the front. It is still up in the back courtyard so the workers can climb up to the roof to do their work. But it does look bizarre to have this hat like thing on the top without any visible means of support in the front. When I arrived Sunday, the scaffolding was stacked on the sidewalk out front. Yesterday it was gone. That makes me concerned that this work will be going on for a while. It actually doesn’t disrupt me that much except guys will be climbing by my kitchen window. Perhaps. Someday. It’s Thursday afternoon and I have seen nary a worker since arrival. I don’t believe the work can get done by itself…. WTF. Welcome To France.
Then on neighboring streets, even more scaffolding. Now that would be a company to invest in! And around the corner in the small plaza, two restaurants appear to be closed. One is clearly in some stage of demolition; the other appears boarded up. And they had great chicken and great hamburgers…
Jet lag hasn’t been a problem – using melatonin seems to help. I am happy to avoid it as I have a busy schedule already. Met a friend Monday, another Tuesday, got my haircut Tuesday, another friend in morning and the expat Meetup in the afternoon yesterday. Also got my membership card for the Louvre on Monday and for the Musee D’Orsay. And fit in trips to Monoprix and to Leclerc (I think of it like Target) to gather things for the apartment. I am all for comfort on this stay. It was always pretty comfortable, but last time I waited for some purchases. Now I am all for get it right away and enjoy it immediately! (That’s an Enneagram 7 for you). Small things like new throw rugs, extra plates and glasses. Nothing very big. A body pillow to be delivered by Amazon to a friend for my pickup. Remember, no gardien here.
Did I mention before that I have this surprising confidence in my language skills? I hoped it would survive the flight over – and it did. Sunday afternoon after unpacking I set out for the Eiffel tower and had three encounters on the way. At the bus stop, two guys appeared lost. I asked where they were headed. And after some exchanges in French, he asked if I spoke English. Sigh. At least I could send him in the right direction. And a French gal needed direction to a different stop – we did that all in French. And on the bus, a problem with the ticket – the driver also asked if I spoke English. Sigh. I take that to mean that I was mangling their language and they would prefer English. But I also gave myself a pass because it was my first afternoon and I had little sleep. My transformation into a French speaker had not fully occurred.
Since then, I have surprised myself at how quickly and without much preparation I jump into French. I am a bit wistful as I think I am losing a topic for my blog.
The weather has been gorgeous. I ditched the heavy coat for the lightweight jacket today and was still a bit warm in the sun. Just started to rain – but it’s after five and I am in for the evening.
I met some folks at the American Church in Paris where I guess I am volunteering to coordinate the exhibits for the Bloom Day. I may have mentioned this? I have downgraded my involvement to chairing from overall in charge. There was far too much time involved in the director and I want to enjoy my stay. The pastor has an apartment in the Church itself – Woodrow Wilson and Martin Luther King Jr both stayed there. (Bob Dylan just played his guitar in the basement.). Lots of history in this place.
My return home was convoluted – going down to say hi to Notre Dame before heading back. I walked right into Notre Dame. Very unusual. Quiet inside – but not as quiet as after the November attacks…
Another wonderful day in Paris.