Croissants

It’s a carbohydrate week, I guess.  The choice today was to blog straight away while the thoughts are in mind or take a moment to savor a croissant.  I decided the croissant would still be fresh after typing.  But I did take a quick bite to confirm that the Sunday morning croissant fresh from the bakery is much better than the Saturday evening one the next day.

If you recall, I made this startling discovery – ok, perhaps a startling remembrance since I did once know this fact.  Last Sunday brought it to the foreground.

I am packing for Bordeaux for tomorrow.  Packing is quite easy these days as I have been doing so much of it and I have a great routine down pat.  A week after I return, I am off to the Netherlands.  And then Maroc and then, just confirmed, Thanksgiving in Portugal.

But back to the fresh croissant.  I dawdled.  Watching my dvrs of Chasseurs d’Appart.  But finally just after noon I set out.  To find my local boulangerie closed.  Really?  This year they have been open on Sundays.  Maybe til 12 and I missed it?  I didn’t see any hours posted.  Nor was there the infamous sign that says Fermeture Exceptionnelle.  So I walked up to the other bakery past the Marche.  Of course, the Marché is busy today.  Sundays are known to be quiet family days in France.  Although more and more large stores are going the way of London and the US.  Still, that’s a battle.  Except this morning, because I was walking a longer distance and down streets I don’t usually walk on Sundays, I noticed a number of stores open – the butcher, the cheese shop, all the candy and chocolate stores!  And of course the wine shop.  And even a few clothing boutiques.  But only til one.  It was a lively scene.  Clearly a neighborhood day on that street off the Marché.  Two streets away, the shops are closed tight.

The bakery was out of Tradition… the loaf made to specifications to stay traditional.  She said they would be ready and hot in 10 minutes.  But I passed and just got a baguette.  If I want the bread to last two days, I must buy the tradition.  But since I will be leaving for La Rochelle at 745 tomorrow morning, there was no need.  Just a baguette and the croissant that is waiting for me on the kitchen counter.  With Brittany butter (you can see the salt crystals) and Strawberry Camarosa Jam.  Made by the Bonne Maman people in the jar with the red and white striped lid.  You can purchase that brand in the States but I don‘t know about Camarosa.  I just discovered it and it’s the first jam I could (but don’t) eat by the spoonful.

Yesterday I stopped by a friend’s apartment in the 5th arrondissement.  A very touristy yet French neighborhood.  We had a nice dinner out and yes, more French was spoken than English.  And it seemed rather quiet for a Saturday night…

I like to see other apartments.  Next time I return, I don’t think I will return to my current apartment.  Finally time to be closer to the action, I think.  Her apartment was better equipped than mine – from an elevator to larger fridge, oven, built in microwave.  And dishwasher!  And the bathroom better appointed.  A real kitchen/dining room table.  And a large bedroom.  The living room, however, was a tiny corner, a third the size of mine.  The bedroom about the same size.  I have a hallway too, so overall my apartment feels (and is) larger.  And with distinct rooms.  While I like her newer Ikea furniture and accessories (aren’t all Paris apartments decorated by Ikea?  Now I understand why Ikea has all those displays of 300 sq ft!), for 9 months in one place, mine is better.  I would go stir crazy in a place as small as hers after 4 weeks.  (And my apartment has windows traverse… I have window on both sides, facing the street and the courtyard.  She has a window in each room but all looking out on the courtyard (and not a fancy tree enclosed space like some Paris apartments.  No, this was just a normal courtyard that allows for the apartments to have windows and space across from them.)

But it was interesting because she pointed out this tiny strange stairway like part of the building.  There were tiny windows on each floor.  She pointed this out in the building across the courtyard from hers.  Then she took me into her outside hallway and pointed to a small door – it was a toilet.  No longer in use, but when apartments had communal toilets, that’s how it was done.  Her building was old.  I am happy with my private WC, thank you very much.

It’s always nice to have your choices validated – if only by yourself.

Now the croissant calls.

As does the crossword puzzle that I will download and print from the Sac Bee – Sunday ritual!  (The NYTimes takes too long…)

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