I didn’t go to bed until 5am last night. Not because I was out doing anything exciting, but because I’m still jet lagged. However, I woke up at 10:30am and made myself get going. Today was the first day since arriving that I haven’t had any plans with anyone. Just me, myself, and I alone in Paris.
By the time I left, it was a little after noon. I walked two blocks to the Metro for the short ride over to the Printemps stop. The area around Paris’s grandest department store reminds me a little of the area around San Francisco Center – wide street, lots of people, and frankly, many of the same shops. But oh do I love Printemps. It has EVERYTHING. Including amazing food. I hurried down one floor of the “Mode” building and secured a salad and a Coke (typically a no-no for me, but I needed caffeine). After, I walked across the floor to the lingerie section. Here’s a not so-secret-secret (as in, I often talk about my love of frilly, lacy things): I love pretty undies. The last time I was in Paris, I’d just had breast reduction surgery and wasn’t able to shop. So I made up for that today The poor salesgirl must have thought I was insane, but she kept bringing me more, like a good little drug dealer.
With my beautifully wrapped package in hand, I decided to walk back to my apartment so I could see more of Paris. Since I have an iPhone, it’s nearly impossible to get lost. Just drop my home pin and go. I decide to go off path though, toward the Tuilleries and Louvre. I kept disobeying my GPS and ended up at the Tuilleries. No matter how many times I see it, I always feel sad. The whole place is very touristy, which is fine, but sometimes I wonder about all the horror and misery that happened there. The imprisonment of the Royal family. The suppression of the Paris Commune and subsequent gutting fire of the palace.
Across the street, I came upon a small orchestra. Unfortunately, I’m short, which means I don’t get the best pictures or videos, but you can still hear it.
After I got home, I collapsed on the couch until my friend, Julia, rang and asked me to dinner. Since my plan consisted of eating dried apricots and nuts, I agreed to meet up in the 4th arr at a cafe not far from my place. When I arrived, a strange, handsome guy stood and kissed me on both cheeks and told me Julia would be along shortly. Turns out he’s her brother…which, one, I didn’t know she had; and two, I had actually met years before. He seemed to know all about me. It was a bit disarming to speak to a stranger who knew more about me than I did him. Thankfully, Julia came along quickly because I was beginning to think she set me up on a date with her brother (despite the fact I’m married). After dinner, we walked down toward the Seine, but I had to run – my boys wanted to Skype with me. So, I said good-bye and made my way home.
Things I learned today: There are lights in the never-ending staircase that stretches up to my floor. The past two days, I’ve stumbled up the uneven, rough wood runners in near darkness. There are also garbage cans on the first floor where I’m supposed to dispose of my rubbish. And lastly, Parisian men LOVE colored pants. It’s like 1982 over here – green, pink, orange. All worn with fitted sweaters or graphic tees. Even guys in their 30′s and 40′s are wearing them. I’m getting pictures tomorrow.