Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It must be the beret

Today marks the seventh time someone has come up to me and started speaking French...I assume they're asking for directions. But I can't get past the first syllable of "Pardon" before they're smiling apologetically and saying, "Je m'excuse..." Still, my ego ruffles each time I'm mistaken for a Parisien, however short lived the assumption.

I did converse with a woman who sold me my panini (filled with mozzarella and a somewhat overripe tomato), and she asked: "Tu aime Paris?" I replied that yes, I loved Paris, and the French were so - nice? Happy? I'm not sure what adjective I sputtered but she seemed pleased. When asked if I'm staying in Paris, I said no, not for long, but I will return another time. Perhaps as a student at the Sorbonne, I'm now wondering.

The friend with whom I'm staying has company coming over the weekend. Attempts to make alternate arrangements to stay in Paris left me floundering, so I decided to skip the whole ordeal...and just go to Brussles for three days instead. Now I have to find out where I'm going to stay there, but I have been introduced to CouchSurfers.com, an online community of people who open their hearts and homes to those traveling without the latter and lots of the former. I have faith this community and the universe will get together behind the Veil and conjure up a grand solution for me.

The day began when I shut the apartment door at 5:30 to make it to the Sacre Coeur for sunrise. Sitting on the steps of the massive church atop the neighbourhood of Montemarte, I watched pink creep up the skyline and fade into the dusty gray of the clouds, suffusing the piles of buildings and squares with a dull glow. The walls of the city seemed lit from within, as if made of a transluscent material instead of the white plaster covered with the gray of years. Thirteen hours later, I close the door of the same apartment after traversing the entire city on foot; from the Musee d'Orsay (I bought a ticket for tomorrow to avoid the line up) to the Montparnesse cemetery to the Bastille and now - to a couch with my name on it.

Love and namaste - thank you for thinking of me and bringing all this loveliness into my life.

1 comment:

kevin. said...

I have a friend who used Couchsurfing and she spoke very highly of it, but be careful! Also, vvvvv.jealous of your trip. I can only hope when I manage to get to Paris sometime within the next few months the weather is so stunning I get to rub it in yo' face :)