Friday, December 12, 2014

returning home

In the evening of my last day in Paris, I leave the warmth of my little apartment and head out to Pouic Pouic for dinner. It's only a five minute stroll, but I take a circuitous route, through the Bucci intersections where the cafes always, even in winter, spill out onto the streets, giving the impression of a canvas of the good life.

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It never fails to make me smile. This neighborhood is on the young side (I think of thirties as being young) and the energy level is high.

And when I then walk into Pouic Pouic, there, too, the energy level is high.

It's a good way to end a trip. For me, the familiarity of it all counts. At the restaurant, I know the informal tables that sometimes rock just a tiny bit. I know the chef (Nicolas), with his pony tail just so -- here he is, working the small open  kitchen, training the next generation of cooks:

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And the proprietors know me. I'm not a great guest -- I don't buy bottles of wine, I occupy a table with only one cover, but the French like familiarity too and so they make a point of greeting me as if I lived just around the corner rather than thousands of miles away. And this feels especially warm at the end of a trip when I've gone too long without friends or family or Ed.

They say -- Ah, here you are, always furiously writing something between courses! And with your camera! Yes, my date is my notebook, my friend is my camera.

The meal is excellent -- pumpkin soup, scallops, fruits and chocolate something or other. The price never varies. There are no surprises.

I leave happy.

I wake up an hour before my alarm goes off. I take care of some nonsense with online reservations -- that takes a good bit of time! -- and then I'm off, checking to make sure the apartment is in good shape, taking out the garbage to the bins in the back. (For my efforts here I get a huge reprimand from the building manager who comes out and reminds me (as if I knew) that you are not to throw garbage away before 8. Oops. It's only 6.)

The street is feel empty now, but only as compared to Paris at other times.

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There is always traffic, there are always a few people rushing somewhere. Still, it feels quiet.

I walk by the Luxembourg Palace that abuts the Gardens...

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...and then it's just a hop and a skip to the RER commuter rail, where I wait for my train to the airport.

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Here's my last photo from Paris. Predictable. I am that.

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In the air now. Over the ocean. Quite literally. Delta has received permission to put thingamajigies on top of the plane (that's how the flight attendant describes it to me) that allow it to pick up signals and give us WiFi in flight. I wont always splurge for this service (it's the price of a lunch in Paris), but I have nine hours worth of online work and so you get this post sent from way up high.