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I’m in Paris, still speaking Italian. Grazie. Prego. Life moving too fast for this old brain.

Up at six yesterday, out the door by nearly 7, a fond goodbye to my dear travelling companion Bruce, who moved that morning to a hotel and is staying nearly two more weeks in Italy. We had a wonderful time together, though my fondest memory will be Bruce the good nurse tending to my back wound, putting on salve and bandages. A very kind man.

The travel was seamless – the airport bus arrived as I did, lots of time for a cappucino at the airport, the flight was on time, the bags at CDG arrived almost immediately. And then one of my travelling triumphs – I headed for the metro to town and bypassed the long lines of people waiting to buy metro tickets at the automated machines. It’s one of the tortures devised by the French – jet-lagged tourists, who often don’t speak French, have to stand in line for ages and then figure out a complicated machine in order to get a metro ticket. Whereas now, every time I leave Paris, I make sure to have a  return metro ticket from the airport in my wallet. The one I had was from 2 or 3 years ago, but still good. Hopped on the train, got off not at Chatelet, another torture for tourists, the most convoluted, crowded, and endless metro station, but at Port-Royal, to get on the #91 bus to the Gare de Lyon, a route I’d figured out in Bologna. From there, a five minute walk to the flat Lynn has rented for us, though of course I got lost in the windy streets.

And there was my friend. She has rented a funky little two-bedroom place in the 12th, one of her favourite, least touristy quartiers. We went for a walk around the ‘hood – we lived nearby on the Place d’Aligre the last time we were in Paris together, so we know it well here – visited a few favourite shops, explored a few others, sat in the sun in the Place des Vosges, stopped at a café in the sun for an aperitif – a beer for me, a cocktail for her – near the Bastille, shopped at a market for dinner – fish and zucchini croquettes – which Madame prepared for us. Talking talking talking.

Netflix in the evening – Lynn had heard good things about “Russian Doll” so we watched two episodes before abandoning. Lynn said, “Do you suppose it’s a generational thing? We just don’t get it.” Yes, I agreed. We just don’t. But fun to try to figure it out with ma belle copine.

It’s very cold in Paris: 4 degrees, exactly the temperature in Toronto. I have not been lucky enough to have warm weather. It’s going up to 20 at last next Thursday, which is the day I leave. C’est la vie.

The Place des Vosges is a tradition with Lynn and me; she found this photo from 2014. My blue period. How warm it was in April that year, though the trees were not yet out!

 This was yesterday. Trees are green but it’s so cold, I’m wearing a hat.

You may have noticed I’ve not removed that pink scarf since I bought it in Montpellier. It keeps me warm.

The stunning Place des Vosges at about 6 yesterday.

Lynn and I have three days together; she has work here Monday through Wednesday, so I’ll be on my own. The rain starts Tuesday. So – a weekend of pleasure awaits. En avant. 



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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