The sun peeked through the slates of the closed shutters, glazing the walls of my bedroom with morning light.
I threw back the covers, flew to the window and opened the shutters. To my delight, the city lay blanketed in white, like a cotton field back home. A late snow the weather man later called it.
I waved my arms in the air and danced in my bare feet, “I’m in Paris. I’m in Paris!”
From the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of a man in an apartment across the street. He shook his head and walked away mumbling to himself.
Who cares; I’m in Paris.
I found my robe and slippers and sauntered into the kitchen, looking for coffee.
The coffee maker looked a lot like my Keurig back home. Then it hit me; I had sold my house. Wow, that’s the first time I’d even thought about the fact that I didn’t have a place to call home. That felt a little unsettling, but only for a moment.
I squealed with delight, “I’m in Paris.”
A search through the kitchen cabinets yielded a box of coffee pods. I checked the instructions on the back of the coffee maker but they were written in French, so I improvised and hoped for the best.
How different could they be? Just add water and coffee, right?
I sipped my coffee, and from my window, I watched my little Paris neighborhood come to life.
The café downstairs bustled with patrons grabbing a quick breakfast. Laughter and bits of conversation floated up to my fourth floor window.
An employee or owner of the flower shop on one corner, carried containers of fresh flowers outside to display on the sidewalk.
Boulangeries opened their doors and I inhaled the delightful aroma of fresh baked breads wafting through the air.
After a quick shower, I pulled a camisole over my head, and shivered as the coolness of the silk brushed against my skin. In contrast my sweater, jeans and boots felt warm and comfortable.
Dressed and ready, I checked my map for the nearest metro station. What luck; it was only a block and a half away. I sauntered down the stairs, out onto the sidewalk and crossed the street, nearly being hit by a motorcycle. The driver roared by blasting his horn, pumping his fist into the air and shouting something in French. For a change, I was glad I didn’t know what he said.
Embarrassed, I avoided the eyes of the patrons at the café.
An old man sitting on a nearby bench flashed a sweet smile in empathy. He wore a dark wool coat and black hat. My father had a hat like that; he called it a driving cap. The smoke from his pipe twirled up into the thin cold air, as his dog lay on the ground beside him, warily eyeing everyone that walked by.
When I find an apartment of my own, I think I’ll adopt a dog, a small one.
The smell of urine assaulted my nose, and I was surprised at the many homeless people in sleeping bags peacefully slumbering on the sidewalks. People walked past as if they were oblivious; just part life in the city I guess.
I stopped at a Creperie for breakfast on my way to the Metro. How convenient to be able to walk out of my door and be in the midst of everything Paris had to offer any time of the day or night. An ATM stood by the entrance, so I used my debit card to purchase more euros. Unlike America it is mauvaises manières to eat while walking in France, so I settled into a booth in the corner and enjoyed a crepe stuffed with Nutella, bananas, and whipped cream. It was all I could do to keep from licking my fingers when I finished eating.
Another block, and down a flight of stairs, I found the metro I was looking for. Lucky for me the signs were printed in French, and English. I wasn’t quite sure if I were ready to use a ticket dispenser so after deciding what I thought I needed, I opted to try and converse with a ticket agent. I took a deep breath and stepped forward.
An agent slid open the window. “Bonjour, Madame. May I help you?”