Because the place shuts down. Your favorite cheese? Put it out of your mind because the cheese guy went to Nice for the month. Not nice. The cobbler from la boulangerie that keeps you up at night because of it's oatmeal-fruit perfection? Plan for a month of grogginess because the baker took off with the recipe to share with the family in Bretagne. The nerve. And the farmer's market has a mere six sad stalls.
But in the last weekend in August, everyone starts unlocking the doors and dusting off shelves. The fruit carts become a rainbow of produce. The flour trucks double park in front of each boulangerie, stalling traffic of commuters who are groggy after their month of sleeping in. And today, everything is BACK ON!
|More on the amazing Space Invader.|
I rolled out of bed this morning, put on my makeup and fancy clothes to walk 20 feet to the boulangerie that I missed so much it hurt. You can't just walk out the door in your yoga pants and messy hair in Paris. It's considered offensive to those who have to look at you.
My baguette was still warm.
I walked another 10 feet to the boucherie where Christophe was standing, roasting up chickens, hams and potatoes. I gave him a smooch and a chunk of bread. His eyes rolled back in carb-induced reverie. Then I walked up and down the street enthusiastically "bonjouring" everyone I haven't seen in a month.
Life in Paris is good.
I have two other reason's it's good.
1) I can make boiled eggs and eat them at lunch. Back in my corporate days, I'd be so aware of the ass smell of boiled eggs that I wouldn't eat them anywhere near the office. But now in my Paris flat? No worries.
2) Paris is a popular tourist destination, which means I have a pretty good chance of hanging with friends who are on vacation:
|Betsy and I after our pen and slipper purchase at MUJI.|
Now she's in Edinburgh going full tilt on art and I'm in Paris going full tilt, too... with stops for snacks and meet ups with friends.
We had a lovely Niçoise salad and a few coffees. Then we perused the autumn wares now available in stores that were fermé all of August.
I love witnessing the arc of a friend's process. Oscar Wilde once said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that’s all.”
And Betsy? She's going for it. She's living.
And I will, too. Right after I finish eating this cobbler. Wait a minute. This is living.
Bienvenue à Paris!