And I don’t necessarily mean in a 3 dimensional sense. Although I am quite busy in Paris: walking, hopping on the bus, or descending into the Metro. My Fitbit keeps track of my daily mileage. (And yes, it’s still in miles. One year I changed it to kilometers. That lasted a day. I am too old to change that.)
No. I was thinking about moving… in my mind. Growing. Learning new things.
You’d think by this mature age (cough cough I aint’ sayin’) I’d understand myself pretty well. Ha. Since July when I realized I just had to say Yes to the Universe and that I was pretty much no longer in control of major parts of my life, it’s been an interesting journey. Learning patience. Learning to let go. Learning to rely on others and to move in time with them. And then coming back to France and fitting in again after a long break. The other returns were after just 3 months. This was 10. And I am in a new part of Paris for me. So to a certain extent, this is all new. New areas to discover. New habits to form. New bus routes to conquer. And the need to make this new apartment my own.
I don’t and never will regret this dramatic change in my life – to move to a new country and not just survive but thrive. But this time, I am understanding it from a different perspective. One I don’t totally understand yet myself.
All that stuff I just wrote. Ya, it’s real. Then we have the fact that I have a budding business with a business partner an ocean and country away. And one of our focuses is communication.
Ha. That’s a real eye opener. Just in less than 3 weeks we’ve had at least two major misunderstandings. And I am supposed to be a communication expert? And teach others? Well, I am coming to believe perhaps that is why I am here for 6 months and why we must wrestle with time zones and emails and our own communication.
The time zone is far more challenging that I expected. So if we are going to talk in that “daytime for both of us” sweet spot, it has to be scheduled. And we both have a number of other responsibilities to work around. Otherwise, it’s an attempt to connect during the PST late evening and the CET early morning. As the conversation starts out, he’s awake but becomes more sleepy and I start groggy and become more awake. If lucky, there are about 4 minutes when we are both non-groggy and somewhat awake and can make business decisions.
This is going to take awhile.
And I am going to learn a lot. We are.
And I am also going to learn to be graceful, if it kills me trying. Jean-Philippe has introduced me to a new concept – neither leader nor follower in Tango. No. He starts and then I respond. Then he responds. Then I respond… and on and on.
And all at the same time, I must be aware of my shoulders, where I am in the embraso – my frame in relation to his, and I have to put my foot down to establish a connection with the floor before I move my other foot at the same time being aware of my hips and making sure they are loose so that I don’t plod from one step to the next- all the while balancing on the ball of my foot. Feet.
Sigh. This is far worse than trying to rub your stomach and tap your head. Trust me.
Last lesson I felt very much out of my league. Today was much better. I am by no means competent – however, I do have a much better understanding of how to respond to his moves. Did you know how improvisational the Argentine Tango is? Well, it is. Everyone who knows dance has told me I started with the hardest dance there is. Sigh. Oh well. I was and am supposed to say yes.
It is improvisational. At any time, he can move anyway he wants. Well, I guess he does have to respond to me but he placed me in that spot to start with. And I have to be responsive to which foot he places my weight on. And that drives, in many cases, what I will be doing next. If ever there were lessons in living in the moment, the Argentine Tango is it.
And I love it. I still grin.
Late afternoon I went from Tango class to the Lutetia Hotel – another luxury tea. I found the Blue of London tea to be excellent. But Hotel Crillon is still my favorite hotel. We are trying another in two weeks when I return from London itself. I was complimented on my French skills. I open my mouth and French spews forth – pretty much in the correct order and tense. Don’t ask me to tell you how. It just happened.
And lastly, the riots.
Actually, I don’t know much about them. I’m over in my quiet corner of Paris by Place Monge. Most of the action is by Place de la Concorde and Champs Elysees. Tomorrow a march is scheduled to go from Bastille to Arc de Triomphe. That’s a long trek and all north of the Seine, on the rive droite. You read it’s the gilet jaune – yellow vest people from outside of Paris, the hinterlands, who are concerned about the gas tax that was scheduled to go into effect in January. The government just cancelled it. But they say they will still march. There are people who are supposed to be the spokespeople for the group – to have a dialogue with the government, Then there are others who decry them and say no one speaks for the group. The anarchists are said to have joined in. And “hooligans’ are also in the group, starting fires and trashing businesses.
Today I saw many restaurants and businesses around the Bastille putting up plywood over the windows in preparation for tomorrow. The government is taking this march seriously. It’s not just in Paris, it is throughout France. I read 89,000 police are ready for it. A major department store has announced it will be closed tomorrow. And concerts have been cancelled. Everyone is told to stay home. I may go to a movie just a couple blocks away.
And the truckers are poised to start their manifestations on Monday, blocking roads and freeways. Not sure about their issues… it’s France.
I will try to avoid any problems, and I will try to do it gracefully.