On Paris Time

by

Not on my time.

On the city’s time.

Which is almost like playa time, I told a friend of mine today as we stood next to one of the three Metro stops that our mutual friend might or might not be coming out of next to the Louvre.

“Like this, I’ll meet you a 9 o’clock between the big purple sun sculpture by the sound camp underneath the red and white shade structure, bring your kite.”

And then you show up and wait and wonder where are they?

I mean, really I gave perfect instructions.

Except it is Burning Man and there are 100 and 1 distractions and things to look at and the next thing you know you have fallen down a rabbit hole and you are on the other side of the playa in an art car with friends you randomly re-unite with at the monkey chant.

Except that it is Paris and just because you say “let’s meet by the Louvre,” it is not just meeting by the Louvre.

The Louvre is enormous.

The Metro stop has three different exits and despite standing next to the one I thought would be the most noticeable, my friend pointed out, “to you.”

Oh.

Shit.

He would not have even noticed it.  In fact, I realized once I had looked over the Metro stop again, although a gorgeous piece of the Paris landscape, it was only one of a thousand things to look at and it doesn’t look at all like a Metro stop.

Fortunately we all met up and all went well.

Despite getting a late start to the day, we were all together sitting in a cafe, with the sun shining down and the waiters bustling about.  My cafe allonge was quite lovely and my companions happily smoked cigarettes, ate baguette with Camembert and Jambon and tarte tatin.

Quintessential Paris.

It was lovely to get to be a part of the journey.

Surreal to be sitting with a couple of friends from San Francisco in Paris.

How small the world can be.

How large as well.

We walked everywhere and really did not cover that much ground.

That happens in Paris too.

You walk in circles.

You get turned around.

The skyline can be disorienting and until you get the gist of the landscape it is easy to wander around the same four block radius without making any kind of progress.

A simple trip to the Tabac can take you off schedule in moments as you scour the side streets for a place to buy your next packet of smokes.

Not that I am smoking, but my friends do and if you are in Paris it seems, if you smoke, you have to indulge, almost overindulge, as it is not as taboo to smoke here as it is in the States.

We all went to the Louvre, only to discover it is closed on Tuesdays.

This was news to me.

So, a slight detour, after of course, snapping some obligatory shots of the courtyard.

Musee de Louvre

Musee de Louvre

There is so much to see, that even after numerous times strolling through the area, I can always find something new to see.

Another photograph I must stop and take.

The blue of the sky reflected in the blue of the windows against the patina blue of the lamp-post; just there, and I must stop and take out the camera.

My camera may be one of the greatest investments I have ever made.

Shortly followed by my MAC book and my Iphone.

I still cannot believe that I am one of those people.

I am also one of those people who don’t really know what I am doing.  Sure, I can get connected to the internet, but once there I can almost never tell you how to do the same thing.

I struggled trying to co-ordinate coordinates and phones and internet and help my friend get from here to there.

Things progressed, however, and when we weren’t busy tying to find a WiFi signal, we saw some Paris.  It was pretty lovely, this city.

Since the Louvre was unavailable, after a stroll through the Tuileries we went over to the Musee D’Orsay and got some Impressionists on.

The crowds were not bad at all and I got some art fever walking through the salons.

It was also just wonderful to be with my friend, his first time in Paris, and observe his reactions and how he saw things, appreciated things.

I won’t soon forget the swooning look on his face when he took his first sip of a Valhrona chocolate chaud in the cafe on the fifth floor of the Orsay.

Cafe d'Orsay

Cafe d’Orsay

“It’s like drinking the best chocolate bar melted down into a cup and hot!” He exclaimed with a swoon of a smile on his face.

We talked art and paintings and life and travel.

I got to sit across the table from a friend in cafe on the fifth floor of the Orsay Museum in Paris.

Life, my friends is not too shabby.

I am on Paris time.

I figure that is why I got the not one, but two turn downs today in my inbox.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Oh well.

I just laughed, two rejection e-mails in one day once would have made me sad.  Today I had nothing to be sad about.  I took a walk in Paris. Had a cafe allonge at one cafe by the Louvre and a cafe creme in the Orsay.  I walked across the Seine three times.  I saw the sunset in a glowing haze of soft fury blowy and scattered gold on the buildings tossing a good night to me as I stood on Pont d’Alexandre taking a photograph of my friend in the falling light; the back drop of the Eiffel Tower and the spire of the American Church on Quai D’Orsay framing his smiling face.

I still have plenty of adjusting to do to my home, but I am falling more and more in sync.

All in due, Paris, time.

 

 

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