Salut! The French will say and then they will raise a toast to you, but you must stare them in the eye or risk seven years of bad sex. Then they will dine with you but look at you suspiciously if they cannot see both of your hands at all times. All while something very French such as “I Shot the Sheriff (but I did not shoot the deputy)” is playing in the background of the French brasserie with a Turkish toilet. Bienvenu à Paris! Welcome to Paris!
This trip we’ve been social butterflies, flitting about to this dinner or that coffee. Plaudits are due when this occurs to an introverted-extrovert such as myself. But it has opened up a whole new Paris to us.
We had dinner twice with our French friend, Laurène, and suppressed laughter while she ardently defended her countrymen’s time-honored tradition of the benevolent Easter Bell which flies about the city dropping candy from the sky to the children (making our Easter Bunny seem wholly rational).
The Husband had me go with him for coffee with a Brazilian from his class. She spoke not a word of English and little French. I found myself staring at my Orangina wishing to hell it was a shot of tequila. I swear to you I do not know what language either of them was speaking. They were like those toddler twins you see on YouTube with their own special language. I’ll be damned if they didn’t work out “my nephew has Down’s Syndrome and my son is a pilot” in pantomime.
Then of course there’s Sally. She went with us on a tour of a park in south Paris moaning and complaining the whole time. I didn’t get to say goodbye to Sally because as another person in our group put it, “we put her in a cab and pointed her northward”.
We met new friends that invited us to their home and out to dinner. This is going to be a special relationship I can already tell–we have so much in common. They own and lease apartments in Paris; a Parisian version of our own lives back home.
Which brings me around to the most exciting people we met this trip–a property consultant and a real estate agent.
The Husband, usually resistant to my urges to buy real estate on a whim, has this time encouraged me to plant my nose against the windows of real estate offices, staring at property flyers saying things like, “We could put a pink couch there, and…”
So there it is. As simply as I can say it, I belong to Paris and someday maybe Paris will belong to me. To us.
À bien tôt, Paris. See you soon. To be continued…