Sunday, July 29, 2012

French sins and dating

Tuesday 4:30 pm
Yesterday was mostly a relax and recover day after my miles long walk through the city. I went swimming in the afternoon without the girls. I read Love in the Time of Cholera. I watched some Grey’s Anatomy. I wrote some postcards. We had well I had scrambled eggs and potatoes for dinner with a glass of champagne. Others had shrimp with avocado alongside it. And salad. And then I committed a French sin and mixed a little orange juice with the last of my champagne to see how it tasted. Mimosas are yummy. :) At the end of the night, it was hot enough that for once I opened my windows wide open even after dark. I read a bit like that (I had an essential oil on that wards off mosquitoes and had it sprinkled by the window along with the plug in thing). I only found a moth and a mosquito. The moth flew by me and the mosquito I killed.
This morning, hanging out with the girls, we brought a blanket outside to sit on and played pretend. I was the kid, Noemi the mama, and Yael the papa. And we used magic to get 80 of everything in the world. Especially sweets. I thought at first that Noemi said it was a “sauber” thing (clean). So I asked if it would work on my room at home. Then she said, “Oh your room from New York is over there now.” And I realized it was Zauber (magic). She also used magic to bring Eric here. Cute, right? At the end of my shift, when Kathrin had come in, Yael looked at me and (she’s three mind you) said “You’re a woman too. You have breasts.” I laughed my ass off. Such innocence. She quickly told me to stop laughing. :) So the discovery of the day is that I am a woman and have breasts courtesy of my favorite three year old. Now, I just finished a bowl of crunchy museli with coconut yogurt and I’m going to hitch a ride into the city with the family then head on my own. I think I’m going to climb the Eiffel Tower tonight. :)

Wednesday 12:11am
I just got back from Paris. I’ve changed, had a pudding, and crawled into bed. I’m not capable of much more. My calves are trembling and if I try to stand on them, they threaten to collapse. I climbed up 719 stairs and then climbed back down them. Why did I do this? Because those 719 stairs combined with an elevator ride got me 281 meters into the air on the third story of the Eiffel Tower. I headed into the city with Daniel and the girls. They played at a playground for an hour or so while I read on a bench in the shade before we drove closer to the Eiffel Tower and parted ways. I got in the first line I saw and hoped it was right. About 40 minutes later or so… a woman informs us that this is the line for the elevators. If you go over around the corner, you’ll only have to wait 15 minutes or so to take the stairs. Well, I wanted to climb up the stairs anyhow to say I had done it. Given the HUGE time difference, of course I did it regardless. By the time I got to the second floor, I was sweating and gross and full of endorphins from climbing so high. I offered to take a picture of a woman who was by herself while I had a mouth full of pretzel (bought at the “cafeteria” aka a snack bar). The girls next to me asked, in French, if I could take their picture. I told them of course but I’m an American. I speak English. They took my picture in return and then we wound up hanging out and heading to the top. They were all a little younger than me. Still in college. (Oh that’s so weird to say!) They’re on a 4 week program here in Paris, staying with host families. We watched the sun set from on top of the Eiffel Tower and then the lights in the city started to come up… it was amazing. And to speak English with people around my own age too was just what I needed. I lost track of them at some point and decided it was time to head back down anyhow. I got in line for the lift down to the second floor and got a call from Daniel asking where I was. I was surprised they were still in the city but we agreed to meet by the carousel I’d been on with the girls one of our first days. My calves started to give out somewhere between the first level and the ground. Now, I am sooo tired. My feet hurt and my eyes won’t stay open. Time for Doctor Who and sleep.

Friday night before bed
Well I just got back from my first real first date. The line between dating and hanging out for me was always blurred. But tonight, I got together with someone I met through couchsurfing for “dinner or drinks”. I wasn’t exactly sure of when the last RER train was but I thought it was around 11:30. We got together at St. Michel’s place and headed for a drink. We ended up at a piano bar that barely had any seats left. We ended up at a four-top and he sat on the same side as me instead of across from me. We talked for a while. Nikos was very affectionate and obviously found me attractive. He kept putting his arm around me and just being touchy. It wasn’t a bad thing and I know I’m making it sound like that. It was more than Americans normally do but he is Greek so as far as my knowledge of Greek culture goes, it was within their normal boundaries. At the bar, there was live music and she killed a few songs. Like Sway and Fever. Good popular jazzy songs. I could do better. Seriously. But then I am a singer. I’ve never done the dating thing but I probably committed several of those big no-no’s. Like mentioning G-d, my ex, and the big one refusing to kiss him despite him trying three times. Seriously the man couldn’t take a hint. Three times he grabbed my face or leaned in and three times I pulled away. At the end of the night when I headed towards the metro not knowing that the last train was at 12:30 not 11:30, he asked for a good night kiss which I refused. I told him it wasn’t personal and he looked incredibly confused. I don’t kiss unless I’m in a relationship. Well, there was one exception to that… repeatedly… but Nikos doesn’t need to know that! When I finally got on the right train, after all the chaos and wrong turns and crap, I realized that I smelled like his cologne. And I don’t like the way he smells. Another way I know he’s definitely not the one for me. If you don’t like how someone smells, your body knows intuitively that they’re not a healthy match for having children with. And I couldn’t be with someone that I don’t like the way they smell regardless of the biological reasons. It wasn’t bad (I mean it wasn’t BO or anything) but it wasn’t something I enjoyed. So I came straight home and showered.

Saturday Night Before Bed
Oh my goodness I had so much fun tonight. I went to Montmartre and met Jalil. He’s been living in Paris for the last two years but is from Morocco and Spain. I was late meeting him because I’d been having one of my passionate disagreements with my mom over cigarettes but he didn’t seem too upset by it. He called me as I was changing trains at one point and I told him I was on my way and apologized. We started walking and I was basically following his lead. (Reasons I was very happy to be with someone familiar with Paris!) We ended up at the bottom of the hill towards Sacre-Coeurand he asked if I wanted to take the lift up or walk up the stairs. I choose the stairs. :) But before we got there, we were stopped by those wonderful swindlers. They took our hands and made a bracelet while we held the end of it and, tourist that I am, it was on my wrist before I knew how to say no and I was guilted into giving a bit for it. On the one hand, it’s a cute bracelet (green crisscrossed with a strip of whitebluebluewhite). On the other, I didn’t ask for it. So I didn’t give the guy much. Sorry dude. Don’t try to con me into it next time.
So we took the stairs up to the top of the hill and looked out over the city. We went into Sacre-Coeur and walked around quickly. I’ll go back sometime when I can actually explore it and spend some time in worship. A man at the front door was scolding people about putting their cameras away and being quiet and not running. “This is a church not a salon!” He even told one woman that her skirt/dress was too short and she couldn’t come in. The sign there says “Silence. Decent clothing. No photos.” As soon as we stepped inside, I felt the familiar pull that is to me a reminder to cover my head as a sign of respect for my L-rd. So despite the temperature and despite the odds of looking crazy, I put my hoodie on and pulled up the hood. Answering to the call of my Creator trumps public opinion. When we left the church, we walked for a bit around. Eventually, we ended up at a little cafĂ©/restaurant and ordered some wine. It was Gewurztrimner I think. From Alsace. After a while of talking and drinking, we headed back up toward the Basilica to watch the sunset and I realized that two glasses of wine on an empty stomach had left me a little tipsy. Thank Heavens that I was able to walk in a straight line for um most of the walk over the cobblestones. I only tripped once or twice and then uprighted myself quickly before Jalil insisted on helping me. I did not need that after Mr. Touchy last night. We missed the sunset but laughed and sat down on the steps to watch night fall and to see a bit of the performances going on. One man climbed a light post and then juggled a soccer ball with his feet, a couple played with firey batons. Well, he was impressive. She was basically just hot and scantily clad. When we headed back toward the metro, there was a crazy marching band type group playing music. It was so much fun. Laughing and clapping and half dancing. I couldn’t see anything because I’m pint-sized but I could hear it! Haha. At the Metro, we parted ways with a very European double check kiss and unlike Mr. Touchy, he didn’t even try to kiss me. I made it home around midnight, after his assistance with the STUPID ticket machine that I can’t get to work so that I can buy my stupid tickets to Chatou Croissy. All in all, I love Montmartre and I had a great time. :) I’ll definitely be going back there soon. I just need to decide what I’m doing tomorrow. I could go to the Louvre, I could go to a department store IN the city, I could go to the area Jalil recommended today which is in zone 5 on the OTHER side of the city (I’m in zone 4 on the West side and it’s on the east side), or I could go wander Montmartre again. OR I could explore Croissy. Too many choices. :)


Post a Comment