Thursday, January 14, 2010

Paris, je t'aime... (Part 1)

Okay, so here's the thing. I've been having a bit of a crap time since I got back to Paris from Toronto at the end of December - a combination of the post-holiday blahs, horrible weather, a terrible New Year's Eve, having no money, and a prolonged and ferocious attack of insomnia had me pretty down. However, today cheered me up immensely and was a good reminder of why I love Paris. And it's about time, because I promise you this - no one will ever give you sympathy if you moan about how hard your life is when you are lucky enough to live in Paris. And really? That's fair enough.

It was a perfect winter day: cold and crisp with bright sunshine blazing out of a clear blue sky. A lot of places look pretty under such circumstances, but Paris? Ahhhhh, pretty is not even close to being an adequate word. Anyway, I took a walk along the river and crossed the Pont Neuf to the Ile de la Cité, meandered around there and then crossed over to the Ile St-Louis, where I treated myself to a Berthillon ice cream. I don't care if it's below zero outside (which it was) or if you're broke (which I am) - if you're on the Ile St-Louis, you eat a Berthillon ice cream, bitches. It's Paris - that's just what you do.

After wandering around the island for a little while, I decided to check out a café mentioned in my guidebook (photo above). So I got a table, ordered a chocolat chaud and relaxed. It's a tiny little place, and all the tables are very close together, so I literally had a front row seat for the following. A woman came in and sat at the table across from me. A man came in and sat at a table against the back wall. That was it - no one else around. Then a second woman entered and looked around and this is, word-for-word, the conversation which ensued between her and the first woman (they spoke in French, but I will translate for you):

Woman 1: Hi, may I ask you a question?

Woman 2: Sure.

Woman 1: Do you like poetry?

Woman 2: Ummm...yes...?

Woman 1: I've just finished writing a poem, would you like to hear it?

Woman 2 (clearly a very good sport): Okay, why not?

So she joins Woman 1 at her table, they introduce themselves to each other, and then Woman 1 RECITES AN ENTIRE GODDAMN POEM TO THIS COMPLETE STRANGER!!! I have no idea if the poem was good or not, I was too busy scalding my mouth with hot chocolate in order to keep from giggling at the whole situation. Anyway, Woman 2 (who was really kind of awesome about the whole thing), was very politely appreciative and then the two of them ordered coffees and started chatting away and telling each other their life stories. I swear to you, it was so surreal it was like being in a scene from a movie. Is this how you meet people in Paris? Just accost random strangers in cafés and start reading poems to them??? Lord, I hope not - my blogging skills might be crap but my poetry skills are a lot worse!

Anyway, my fabulous day continued its fabulosity, but you will have to tune in next time to hear about the rest of it, there was just too much to include in one post...

1 comment:

  1. C'est fantastique! You made me laugh out loud and think about looking for a cheap flight right now...