Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Je retourne à Paris

Here I am, in Paris! I've almost been here a week now. The first two or three days here in Paris were spent in such a stupor, albeit a grand one, after spending over 30 hours in airports and on planes, and having work projects on top of all that. I know, woe is me, huh?! Upon arriving, I managed to get through customs, grab my ridiculously large suitcase, get a taxi, and despite traffic, I arrived at my apartment five minutes early to meet the owner. After my flight was delayed out of Houston, I was worried about the timing, but only briefly. For some reason, I just knew that it would work out fine and it did. After a much needed shower, I immediately crashed on the sofa and kept awaking with tinges of excitement, knowing that here I was, napping in Paris. And the feeling of being able to once again lie flat while sleeping... is there any better feeling after spending that much time trying to sleep in awkward airport chairs and on planes?

I really felt different upon this arrival into Paris. Upon arriving in Paris back in 2006 (my first trip), I imagined that the first monument I would recognize would be the Eiffel Tower. I imagine many other visitors fantasize the same thing. But it was Notre Dame back then and I didn't give much thought to what I might see first this time. But there it suddenly was to my right, the Eiffel Tower on a gray day. I wasn't seeing Paris for the first time, I was returning. What a different feeling that is. When one first lays eyes upon something/someone/someplace for the first time, the sensation is unique. When one returns, there is a slight knowing and hopefully with that, a deeper and often somber appreciation.

In that instant, as my eyes spotted the Eiffel Tower, I knew that this month in Paris would be a different kind of discovery from the last trip. Of course, I will see new places and things this trip. But there is a peculiar knowing that I now possess and it transcends Paris.

Although I've been sadly remiss at blogging, I will be posting through this trip... I promise! And thank you to those of you who have "gently" reminded me to get my act together and blog about it already! I need that encouragement/threatening! Merci beaucoup!! I think I'll be posting a lot of short pieces about my experiences here, as that feels like the best way to share my Paris experiences with you all. I've been writing quite a bit since arriving and expect to do so much more writing (the BIG writing... for publication) once I complete my planned work projects.

À la prochaine!


suburban rambler said...

wow. i am so jealous! that is the musee d'orsay to the right and the tour peeking to the left and the bateaux at the fore. i can almost smell the seine-- i will follow what you write everyday that you are there.

when you get tired from your long walks, go and rest in place dauphin off pont neuf...

have fun!

Twin Palms Road said...

b, I love your blog and am so pleased that you will be sending dispatches. Please also promise not to go 'invitation only' as have lost my other favourite block 'la belette rouge' that way.

Cavalock said...

hah! i just got back from Australia, looking forward to reading more bout Paris and the rest of France too. Have a safe trip!

Randal Graves said...

Ya know, Cleveland just ain't the same. ;-)

Keep us updated, but your real writing is the most important thing! Though we expect updates on that, too!

Anonymous said...

I'm jealous and happy for you at the same time. I honestly can't wait to hear all about your French adventure - I will happily live vicariously through you this time!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of LBR, aren't you girls there in Paris together? How is she?

Richard said...

Actually, I did not expect you to be blogging. I figured you would be too immersed in Paris to want to blog. Oh, sure, maybe the odd, quick post, but nothing substantial. Yest, here I am and you've posted 4 fairly lengthy pieces.

My general opinion is that when I am on holiday I am incommunicado. I might make a brief call, or mail out a postcard or drop a quick e-mail (though, I am extremely wary of any public Internet service), but in general, I am out of touch.

I don't deny that sometimes there is a strong desire to share the experience. It is always nice to share, but I think the total break is important.

Just my thoughts, not my prescription (I will not deny that I enjoy reading your posts).

Betty C. said...

A month in Paris is a wonderful thing. I am back in the blogosphere after a hiatus brought about by other obligations.

It's strange to watch you blogging from France with my vantage point as the Pacific Northwest.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. And all you can to avoid mobs of tourists. I'm not sure it's even worth it to visit Notre Dame de Paris for that reason. Go to the Musee d'Orsay on Thursday evening and stay until the last minute.