Friday, December 16, 2011

a pocket of calm

France had itself a windstorm last night, but we flew into Paris just before, in a small pocket of relative calm.


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We’re in Paris for the week-end. It’s the pause between old world and the new one. I use it to check my wiring, to recharge my batteries before returning to what will be a hectic exam grading/holiday season.

It goes without saying that it was dark before we stepped out at the RER (train) stop that’s close to our hotel in Paris.

Paris is festive at this time of the year. It’s bouncy and bright and full of reds and golds.


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Reds and golds indeed! Before the stores closed we made our way to a lovely little scarf shop where my friends purchased for me the most exquisite scarf...


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...and then it was dinner time. Around the corner, at the very simple place that we, in the States would say serves perfect comfort food (Cremerie Polidor). I’m not in need of comfort and I continue to regard this European winter as unusually warm, but it was heavenly to eat raw veggies followed by stewed veal in cream sauce (blanquette de veau). I always think of it as Ed’s place. He likes the rough and tumble setting, the rickety chairs. I like the female staff of waitresses – they’re the same ones each time and they do their job so very well.


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And the food is not fussy and the wine is cheap and good and you leave wanting nothing more than to settle in bed in your lovely tiny hotel room with the nice art work, appropriately with umbrellas in it...


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... yes, settle down with a good book, except you never get to the book part because sleep is there, mellow and kind and before you know it, it’s morning.


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So you think you’ve left Poland behind, that you’ve transitioned, except, of course, you haven’t. I listen to the waitress asking us about our croissants and our caf├ęs and on an impulse I ask – where are you from?
Poland. Near the sea.
Ah, Poland. I know the place well...

Paris in the rain. We’ll have that today.