Archive for January, 2012
It is more apparent to me than ever that I lead an unbelievably stressful life at home. Since arriving in Paris I have been getting a minimum of eight hours of sleep a night. The last time I got this much sleep at home was when I had the flu five years ago.
I am ensconced in a small charming apartment in Canal St.-Martin, the 10th arrondissement northeast of Paris. This trip wouldn’t have been possible without my generous friend giving me the keys to her home for a week. Thank you.
Although I’m terrified to speak French, because it’s been so long, I can read a lot of it and understand some, and not embarrass myself when ordering lunch. Everyone here has been more than understanding when I pop out with a Spanish word when I can’t think of the word in French or English!
It is difficult to totally disconnect from my life back in Portland for a week when I have so many responsibilities there, but I’m sure trying.
My goal on my first day in Paris: stay awake until 8pm.
The only possible way to achieve this goal when arriving in a new time zone is to throw your luggage down, head outside and start walking immediately until you find the nearest espresso vendor. But we didn’t get very far, because the best baker in Paris has a bakery across the street from the apartment where we are staying, and the scent of freshly-baked pastries was just too enticing to pass up. The bakery is called Du Pain et des Idées, and there is a line out the front door all day every day. We waited in line and it was worth it.
Mouthwatering galletes and croissants that are nothing like you ever get back home.
We also found a Monop on our street, which is like an upscale quick mart that sells everything from champagne and chocolate to eggs and milk. We bought some groceries, and dropped them back at the apartment.
We spent the next few hours exploring the neighborhood, drinking espressos and cappuccinos until we couldn’t stand it anymore. We headed back to the apartment at about 5pm, snacked on some Brie and bread, and somehow managed to stay awake until 8pm.
When I woke up the next morning, 11 hours later, I was ready to take on Paris for my first full day of sightseeing. But first some espresso…