Sunday, November 4, 2018

In Paris And Still Glad To Be Here

The plane was half an hour early.

The peripherique was tres fluid.

So I got to the apartment at 0830.

That, I was worried, might be dicey.

Check in time is some vague hour subsequent to 10h00 or so.

But I have lived in this apartment, over the years, for more than a year in total.

So I felt that even that early shouldn’t be too early for me, the long term resident.

I should mention that there was a certain amount of exhausted desperation associated with that privileged viewpoint: between getting to the exit gate in Seattle and getting through passport control in Paris, to baggage claim, I have to say that I am getting too old for this shit.

It’s good that I am in pretty good shape.

Weightless baggage looms in my near future. 

I will just buy everything I need at where I go and leave it behind when I leave. 

Or something. 

But I got here at 0830.

And, as I was manipulating the roller wheels on the combination key safe on the door of my apartment the door pushed open and a slight – human – squeak issued from the interior.

I was surprised.

She was surprised.

She was a charming young woman - the cleaning person - who didn’t mind at all that I can’t speak French, and was not at all bothered by the fact that I was quite early; she just kept talking and I got enough of it, and responded – and even formulated original thoughts, as in, when I opened the pan cabinet and saw my frying pan still there and I said “j’ai achte cette pan”. 

She said in her not much English, “you speak French well”.

Anyway my welcome at the apartment was first class.

After she had briefed me in French on the washer/dryer (Thierry bought it the last time I was here so I already knew how to use it) and the various nuances de savon and apologized for using my washer to do the towels of one of her other apartments – the washer there had failed – and a lot I didn’t get, she left and I immediately started charging my phone and signed it on to the network and fired up the computer and wasted a lot of time in related endeavors before I set out on a walk at 1000.

The walk concluded at Le Depart at 1130 where I had a long, leisurely lunch and then came back to the apartment at 1330.

I killed another hour or so in the neighborhood and then came back to the apartment.

It’s raining now – it was quite nice until about an hour ago – and I am going to see if I take a nap if I can wake up by 2000 or so and go to La Citrouille for dinner.

I know it’s a risk but the stretch from 0830 to 2030 is just too much for me, since it’s raining and I am not Johnnie Ray. . 


As it turned out, I woke up at a little after 20H00 and stirred myself afoot and went to La Citrouille.


La Citrouille is one of my favorite places in the world.

Somewhere in the bowels of this blog is a post about why that is true.

But back in the old days one of its charming characteristics was that Zidane the maître d'hôtel used to lurk out in front of the place to charm and lure the feckless passersby into La Citrouille.

He is charming and he has lured a lot of them over the years, because on the night I am documenting he was too busy umpiring his waitstaff and taking care of some tables himself to ever think about shilling the feckless.

I am happy for his success, but I miss the entertainment of his heuristically inventive pitches to the passersby.

The way they kept coming in the other night, I think La Citrouille may be beginning to live up to my belief in it.


Here are some pictures I took during that tres plaisant interlude.





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