Feeling right at home! I moved on Tuesday – not without its own drama. My regular shuttle service was hired for 8:45. I have used these folks since 2012. At 850 still not here. Very odd. I called. The driver had just had an accident and was waiting for the police. I don’t think he was injured – he wasn’t waiting for the ambulance… And all the other drivers were an hour away in northern Paris. Plan B. Uber. And it was actually cheaper. I didn’t plan on them in the beginning because I needed someone to carry the bags and I didn’t get the impression that Uber drivers did. But I made it clear he must and promised a pourboire. That’s literally For Drink and means tip.
We got here. Bags made it up the stairs, He went down the stairs with 40 Euros. My landlady thought that excessive – maybe 20, 25. But I was American, after all (she said that!). Well, for me, it was value. I would have paid 100 Euros to get those bags up here! He must have liked it; he was waiting downstairs and asked my landlady to text me his phone number in case I needed a driver. He’d be disappointed. I tip more like a French person in daily life.
Changes in the ‘hood. The construction continues across the street. I expected them to be working on the facing. But they haven’t even finished taking some of the old roofs and bricks down. And the interior is still out in the open. At least they are past the demolition which was really dusty and dirty. Big changes at Porte Maillot – the roundabout. Two of my bus stops seem to be moved. I am not sure where yet. They are putting in a new RER station. On one hand that’s cool. But it’s a 2022 completion. Yikes. The Marché is still discombobulated. Continuing the work on putting in escape hatches and air ducts for the new line. I think that may go on til 2022 also.
I was unpacked and organized in the apartment in less than 2 hours. A very nice change to the apartment building is a new paint job, old carpet out, stairs sanded and waiting for stain… and new carpet eventually. It does spruce up the building well. The former interior decoration was very unappealing. I feel I have moved up to a new classy neighborhood.
Yesterday evening I went down to say hello to the Eiffel Tower. It’s still there. Still magnificent. Still my favorite icon of Paris.
Today I went back to work. Yes, I do work! This Paris thing is not a walk in the parc. I met two of my conversation exchange friends. Fabulous to catch up with them both. I met the first guy across from the Louvre in our usual spot. I thought I was doing quite well. He would only say that I had to jump right into French again. I looked up taskmaster: tyran. Oui. He’s a tyran for sure. Afterwards I renewed my membership at the Louvre. So it’s a Wednesday in the middle of May. The place felt empty. No, it wasn’t really empty! But compared to the normal size crowds – felt empty. One of my usual reference points is the number of tours that walk by us at the café by the Louvre, but today we sat away the window. I feel badly for France, but am happy for me.
Then I had lunch with my other friend in great café by Palais Royal. He has taken me to the best small restaurants. And I felt so back in Paris! The menu had more pages of wine selections than food. I had Le Hamburgoise. And a dessert. Miam Miam. The tart frais strawberry was beyond delicious. And he said I did very well, spoke quickly, spontaneously. Hah!
I also know I am back in Paris because I walked 6.5 miles yesterday and will have over 4 by the end of today.
Tom Cruise was filming a movie near where we ate. People would assemble with their smart phone out to take a picture. And all that happened – and no more than every 45 minutes – was a car driven very fast down the street. It reversed. Then sat there til the shot was ready again… I don’t think Tom was driving. The driver had a hat. Usual trick of the stunt driver. And heck, I don’t even like Tom Cruise that much and he lives on the street of a friend of mine in Beverly Hills. I am not going out of my way to find him here.
Macron. That’s a different story. My friend sent me a photo that his friend took of Macron last night at La Rotonde restaurant in Montparnasse. That means I have 2 degrees of separation from Emmanuel. Woot.
Surprise – the cold is MUCH better. Just needed to be home.