Saturday, February 6, 2010

A very good day

Friday was one of those days that make me incredibly happy to not be sitting in an office five days a week.   Working part-time is a huge financial strain and I assure you, I am definitely not enjoying this level of poverty, but a day like that kind of makes up for it.

It was one of those days when Paris is so beautiful it breaks your heart.  The sun was shining, the temperature was mild, and even in February, it was a perfect day for a long walk.  So I took a stroll down by the river in front of the Louvre, and does it not just look like six different kinds of fairytale?

Took the Pont Neuf across to the Quai des Grands Augustins and wandered along until I reached Shakespeare & Company, which is a legendary bookshop.  I had never been there, but I decided it was an auspicious day to check it out.  Well, the stories are true, it's a bit magical.  The downstairs section is reasonably normal, but if you go upstairs to the reading rooms?  Be careful.  I went up there with the intention of looking around and coming right back down again, but somehow a deep leather armchair seduced me into sitting down.  And that was it - I pulled the closest book off the shelf (just to have a look at it, mind you) completely at random, and the next thing I knew, three hours had disappeared.  Seriously!  

So, I finally managed to drag myself out of there and continued along the river until I reached the Pont de la Tournelle.  Crossed back over and kept going until I reached rue St Paul, where I found Thanksgiving, a North American grocery shop.  Now, don't get me wrong - I am very much a "live in the culture you're in" kind of gal, and I am more than happy to eat cheese and foie gras and pain au chocolat all day long, but sometimes you just need a fix from home.  It totally blew my food budget for the week, but I am now the proud owner of nearly a litre of salsa and a huge jar of dill pickles (which are my favourite thing on the planet).  Told you it was a wonderful day...

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