Before I post about the road trip, we have to say good-bye to Paris. Packing up all our stuff into the same suitcases all over again felt a little like déjà vu. Although it didn’t take nearly as long. We are getting to be pretty good at moving.
I spent the last week in Paris really trying to pay attention on my final walks around the city. I have a bad habit of zoning out when I walk by myself. It’s just so easy to get lost in my head on random mental threads. Sometimes this results in me missing a street I intended to turn on and most recently, resulted in having an elderly gentlemen tap me on the shoulder and tell me I can cross the street. I was so startled. How do you say “I zoned out” in French? And also Monsieur, those headphones were in for a reason — to discourage exactly this type of interaction.
But, nevertheless, I was really trying not to do that in the last week so I could soak up the final few moments of Paris, and that made things all the more bittersweet. I can’t believe we are leaving the hustle and bustle of this city already, but I’m excited about the adventures to come. There are so many little, weird memories of our time here that come to mind.
- the time I lost an earring in/near a restaurant and days later, when we found ourselves near the same restaurant, I asked if anyone found it. I think this is a totally weird thing to do, but I only have 3 pairs (er…had) that don’t irritate my ears. Even stranger than asking about it though was our waiter telling me he saw it on the ground outside of the restaurant, briefly scanning for it outside with us, and then the three of us accepting it was nowhere to be found.
- the time a lady in our apartment building came downstairs and told us there was some loud machine making an “unpleasant” sound in our apartment while we were out and hearing S apologize profusely even though he had no idea what she was talking about.
- the time — the day after the lady complained of noise — we managed to set the smoke alarm off in our apartment while cooking. That evening had us frantically fanning the smoke alarm to no avail until we finally thought to take the batteries out. After that debacle, I found myself spontaneously bursting into laughter for the rest of the night. You try so hard to be friendly and blend in…and then something like that happens.
- the time we went to Stereoptik’s Dark Circus when I was sick. I wasn’t totally up for it, but it turned out to be a strange, enchanting visual art show where two artists depict the story of Dark Circus using paper, sand, and ink. It is by far the most interesting thing I’ve seen a looong time.
- the time my husband wanted to install more RAM in my computer (I didn’t think we should bother) and we searched the city high and low for a screwdiver…and never found one. I still have no idea where one gets this in Paris. He eventually made do without one and my goodness, this puppy works like a dream now.
- and the time, just last week, my afternoon coffee was served to me in a wine glass, since the few landlord-supplied cups we had were dirty and we no longer have large cupboards filled with the countless mugs we’ve accumulated over the years.
Final Meals and Bisous
On Friday, we had our farewell Paris meal at Chez L’ami Jean. It’s odd – we don’t do that much for the typical occasions, but it seems like we invent ceremonies for far more mundane events and then spend an awful lot of time planning things like first meals, 1-month Paris anniversary meals, last meals, etc. Anyway, we opted for the carte blanche option, where it’s pretty much chef’s choice. That’s usually our selection if we ever get that option. It was a perfect end. The tables in all Paris restaurants are close together, but in this restaurant – there is no space between the tables. It’s très cozy. But our meal was amazing. We started with Parmesan soup (which is a house specialty), then had quail and duck hearts, cod with lentils, suckling pig with sausage and vegetables (served in a large Staub pot), and then finally a vat of rice pudding served with caramel and nougat. It’s the exact type of food we’d want to cook if we dedicated more time to cooking. It was rustic, delicious, and filling.
On Saturday, we passed by our nearby coffee roaster to pick up some coffee for the road trip. We really love this shop. The owners are two extremely friendly and generous guys, and the place feels like it’s a real labor of love for them. So we talked about coffee (duh), gave them a small gift to celebrate the shop being open for a month, told them about our upcoming trip, and somewhere during this exchange I managed to score my second official French kiss. And I think I executed this one with far less awkwardness. Honestly, I’m practically a local.
Au Revoir Paris
Well Paris, it was fun while it lasted. Till we meet again.
Let the road trip begin…