I have been fighting: the urge to read against the need to blog. And the couch was winning – see last blog. But today I was determined. I even had a sentence that was so clever and witty that it simply drove me to the laptop.
And there at the computer I was undone.
The laptop sits on my table every day. And night. (Unless the house elves are moving it about). And recently I have had several projects – find an AirBNB in Montpelier (and the entire Montpelier trip), figure out whether it’s going to be Prague or Budapest or both, all the Bloom Where You’re Planted stuff, and the usual – mail and Facebook. And apparently those maybe indeed 60 open web pages make the laptop very slow. So I closed them all down and was going to just reboot and sit and write a clever piece for the blog.
The computer told me there were updates. So I decided to go out for a bit of shopping before blogging. When I come back an hour later, it is STILL updating. OMG. I think it took another 45 minutes. It reminded me of the “old” days when updates would have those little boxes and would say 39 hours to upload….
Maybe there’s a reason it’s recommended to turn your computer off from time to time… not every 3 months…
And of course, the clever and witty sentence has evaporated.
So on to random thoughts.
I crossed a bridge on a bus last week. Looking up the Seine, I could see the towers of Notre Dame, the spire of Sainte Chapelle, the dome of Sacre Coeur, the water shimmering with sunlight and the Eiffel Tower to my back. It was a moment of pure joy and a reminder of why I love it here. And a moment of disbelief – am I really here? Earlier that morning when I set out and found a new route, I had thought – I own Paris now! The view of the Seine just made me happy.
And then of course, later in the day the reality of France made itself known. I had a package not delivered – the note was. Pick it up on 30/9/2016 after 1100. Really. In French but that was pretty simple. So I go off to the Poste about 1130. You got it – no package available yet. I surprised myself by actually arguing a bit – in French – and pointing out it did say the package would be available that day after 1100 and it was after 1100. To no avail. No package. Try Monday. However, the nice lady did say at least 3 times, Je suis desolee. Which means, I am sorry. OK. That was nice. I’ll go back Monday.
I did finally receive my Hillary cap and buttons. Got here on Tuesday – just in time for missing the debate. Oh well, they are here. I did watch the debate live. You probably did too. But I had to get up at 3 am to watch on Bloomberg TV (thanks to my landlady for having that on the cable channels). At 5 I went back to sleep for several hours.
Why watch live? I don’t think any other friend in Paris did. I know myself, I would have read the newspapers immediately to see how it went. And then I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to watch the whole thing. So two more early morning events for me.
We are planning an election….party? Gathering… on Wednesday Nov 9 here in Paris. Early. The polls close in California at 8 on Tuesday. That’s 5 am Wednesday here. I have the advantage – we can follow the progress in the daylight. We are trying to find out what bar will open at 5…
For anyone coming over, do realize it’s not the ARCH of Triumph. It’s ARC. Two tourists on my bus -73 – that goes up the Champs Elysees – were bugging the bus driver. I explained that the Arc was several stops done – oh no we want to walk – and then they stayed on the bus, kept asking the driver and finally got out at the Arc stop but pushed their way out the front of the bus which is a no-no. Entrance at the front, exit at the rear. I haven’t seen bad tourists for… well, ages. Maybe 2 years. Resetting my counter.
It never hurts to ask. It often helps. Bad back this week – too much reading on the couch and sitting tensely at 3 am… Saw the chiro on Tuesday and had to go back on Thursday. If you recall, she’s French but trained and licensed in Texas. I asked, any chance there’s a discount for the second visit in the same week? She said 50 euros (usually 72) and that it never hurts to ask. I amaze my American and French friends for asking and that people will respond or negotiate with me. Again, never hurts to ask but always respectfully.
DOGGY BAGS IN PARIS!
A new law effective in January of this year requires restaurants to provide doggy bags if requested. Thursday I had lunch at a very traditional French restaurant and had brochette of beef. Too big a portion. It was a nice place – I heard that Jacques Chirac eats there often – or did. Traditional French dishes (although I did not see Tete de Veau (calf’s head) which I saw at another restaurant and was told that Chirac ordered that once a week while he was mayor of Paris – it was just a block from Hotel de Ville). But apparently this restaurant was mentioned on some website so now it is also full of tourists. The waiters spoke English well. There I am. Lots of beef on my plate. Wanting a doggy bag but not sure of the response. Will he get French Uppity? My tactic – “Monsieur, I have a very American question…” pause. He replies – “you want to take away?” “Yes please!” That simple. Whew. We say Take out in the States, in England and France it is called Take Away (Emporter en francais).
Because it was so simple, I asked for Emporter at the Pizza restaurant, PizzaWaWa. Pas de problem!
Laptop 1, Blog 1