Monday, September 9, 2013

Sights, Sounds, Smells

Thus far, I have not revisited iconic landmarks that pervade my memory of Paris. It is a strange thing to be in a brand new place full of unforeseen opportunity and grand adventure, but also know that it isn't as fleeting, as least for now, so it's ok to take a few things slowly and get settled. Part of me wants to buy everything I need for my apartment right now, like the Nespresso machine pictured below, the result of excessive under-caffeination. Do we remember the addict-like need I described for getting a cell phone? Very similar heroine-like jonesing. The other part of me knows to focus on getting to know my neighborhood, finding English students to teach, and tying up the Visa loose ends yet to be tied. I was, however, taken to lunch by the family I am (barely) assisting in exchange for my rent free little studio for lunch on Saturday to a lovely restaurant located in what used to be a train station. I also spent last night seeing some live jazz performed by a musician I met the last time I was in Paris, playing his saxophone beautifully and atmospherically up behind Montmartre. There, I was introduced to a lovely couple, the husband originally from Rochester, NY, the wife French, who invited me to brunch next weekend. I was, of course, also hit on by various random French men.

As far as smells? There is a very distinct odor that emanates from the Paris metro that is so pungent and specific to this great city, I originally detested it. I missed the sooty, garbage-infused perfume wafting from the NYC subway and its 24 hour access. In time, however, I have grown to love the Paris metro's efficiency, speed, and the whiff of nostalgia that fills me with wonderful new hope. And in contrast, it's quite amazing what scents and meals you can create using just a couple of hot plates. Already learning the tricks of the trade, I am quite proud of the minor feasts I have concocted for myself of late to fill my apartment with delicious fumes. On a thoroughly wet and rainy Parisian day, it is an exquisite skill to have. And yes, those are pink and raspberry eclairs...

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