Getting Up

by

Getting out.

That is the challenge on days when I do not have French class to propel me forward.

I only have one week of French class left, so I must get to the habit now.

It is too easy to sleep in, to slough the day away.

Granted I did not do a whole lot of things today, but what I did was important, necessary, even life changing, when I let myself think about it.

I do not like to think.

Thinking gets this lady in trouble.

I found myself attempting to think this evening as I was preparing my dinner.  Nope, do not go there, keep in today, keep in the moment, stay with the pulse of the rain falling.

It is rainy in Paris.

That sounds lovely doesn’t it?

I have an admission to make.

I have had a thought or two of going back to San Francisco.  I cannot see how I am going to be able to stay here and in the not being able to see how I am going to make it happen I fall back on, “well, I could go back to San Francisco and wait tables somewhere.”

My thinking, skewed, so to speak.

I tell myself I do not need to know, not for you, reader, not for me.

It is just my ego getting in the way of my being here and as a wise man once said to me, “your ego is not your amigo.”

No, that fucker is not.

I got a little overwhelmed with Paris today.

I went out and about on my bike.

Place St. Augustin

Place St. Augustin

I am grateful I did.  I rode from my place following a Google map I had on my Iphone.

I may not have Iphone service, it’s locked, I have a janky little throw away Samsung phone that I can barely text with, but I do have my apps on my phone.

One of which is the map.

So, handy.

Of course, I took a wrong turn somewhere, but the app tracked me and showed me where I was going.

Oh, look, I am going to ride across the Seine, which I should have done at Quai Branly, but am now doing at Pont Alma.

There’s the Eiffel Tower.

Foot of the Tower

Foot of the Tower

It is almost blase to me.

I see the Tower constantly, I saw it burst into sparkles last night, as the clock struck 10pm.

I will admit I was dazzled.

However, for the first time since being here, I did not stop to watch and pull out my camera to take photographs.

I walk past it four times a week.

It is beginning to be a part of my landscape, like the Bay Bridge was when I was in San Francisco.

Of course being on my bicycle and riding past the Eiffel Tower, that is a different experience, one which I have not had a lot of yet, so it does still feel quite special.

I would have spent more time there, but I was running late.

I had over shot the turn off and had to turn back.

Despite having an electronic map at my fingertips and a book of maps in my bag, I still get lost, fortunately, I have been to Rue Commerce (that is the name, makes me laugh, especially on a Sunday when there is very little commerce to be had) before, so I had a general idea of the direction.

I got there fifteen minutes late, having given myself 45 minutes to make it (the map had said it would take 22 minutes, I doubled that and was still late), but I got there.

Feet a bit cold, body warmed and toasty from the effort of the ride, cheeks rosy from the wind.

It is cold out there.

That was probably the coldest ride I have taken on a bicycle, but it was still a lovely ride.

Coming home, despite not being on a time schedule, I did not enjoy quite as much.  I realized I had pushed myself a bit, I am still sick.

It is annoying having a cold.

I am not horribly ill, I just do not have my normal good level of energy, whine, bitch, moan, and I got tired.

Tired and a little hungry, lunch needed to be had.

My map app would not route back for me, I could not pick up a signal on my phone, but I had a general idea which way to go.

That and the bus the whipped past me, the 52, headed toward the Opera, follow that bus!

Hey, I live by the Opera, not super close, but once I get in that neighborhood, I’ll know which way to go.

That is the awesome thing about Paris, there are monumental amazing churches, statues, towers, sculptures, buildings, museums, and once you start to recognize the neighborhood one is in, they become landmarks.

Which is better for me than the map usually.

Hungry though I was, a little tired, a little worn out from the vigilance of riding in a new city on new routes with a fixed gear over cobblestones.

Wait, a second.

Let me just acknowledge this.

I am a 39-year-old woman riding a fixed gear in Paris.

Haussman

Haussman

I don’t know what got more notice, the clown nose on the statue of General Haussman, or the girl climbing off the fixed gear.

I think the bike got more notice to be honest, closely followed by the woman clambering around it taking photographs.

I had not meant to pull over and get off my bike, I was definitely hungry by this point, and tired, and that’s half-way to crazy town for me.

But when you see a clown nose on a statue in Paris, you just have to stop.

Have to.

Clowning Around

Clowning Around

 

It reminded me of Burning Man.

Which in turn reminded me that it took me six go’s at Burning Man to actually understand the layout of the city.

Paris is not on a grid and one street suddenly becomes another and then there are pedestrians not paying attention walking in the bike lanes.

Je suis la!

I hollered at some one today.

A gauche!

I hollered at another person walking down the middle of a bike path along the Seine.

Hey, that’s not bad, I hollered ‘on your left’ basically and the guy knew what was happening and stepped to the right.  Pretty hot.

I had a moment of remembering whipping past Jefferson on a training ride yelling, “on your left,” and now, here I am in Paris telling someone on your left.

I barely knew how to ride a bike in the city and now I am riding a fixed gear around Paris?

Let me extrapolate that out to my writing and to my being here in Paris in general.

This is what I love about blogging, about writing in general, but about blogging in specific–I always find a moment of rest or repose and I learn from the writing what the experience bores on me.  I just have to keep the practice of living here in Paris going.

Of course I got overwhelmed and wanted to go home.  I know how to ride around San Francisco, I rode many different bicycles over many years and got to know the city really well on the back of a bicycle.

I have only gone for two rides in Paris.  It may take some time to get used to everything.  How grateful am I that I am learning the ins and outs now before the really heavy tourist season starts?

Pretty grateful, actually.

And a gentle reminder to self, honey, you’ve got a cold, take it easy.

Today I wrote my morning pages.

I went for a ride in Paris.

I met some fellows.

I took on a commitment to do coffee service on Sundays–I will be making this bike ride again and I will get to practice getting better at it.

I made myself lunch, I went to Odette and Aime and edited Baby Girl for an hour and half, I wrote 500 words of a short story.

I bought a rotisserie chicken and a had nice dinner at the house.

I posted to my photography blog and did this blog.

Things are just fine.

I did a lot today, actually, when I stop to acknowledge it.

Everything is exactly as it should be.

In Paris.

 

 

 

 

 

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