Saturday, September 10, 2011

Expatriés, Paris

"Please god, let me go to Paris someday and let me go to the wrong restaurant and let me be treated rudely by Parisians and let me wander randomly, not knowing where I am going, confused, and find myself in some less than wonderful café, eating less than the best food and having a glass of not particularly good red wine. What better thing could you hope for - my god, it's Paris!"
- Anthony Bourdain, in this hilarious travel video

In 14 days I will be in Paris.

If it's sounds like I'm bragging, I am.

I've never even been to Canada ok, people. Don't take this away from me.

I've been practicing on my iPad how to have conversational French with crappy waiters, pouring over maps, breaking in shoes and already I've packed my bag, unpacked it and packed it again only with more protein bars and Pepto tablets.

Every since I read this staggering Jacques Prévert poem I've been dying to go. (A 43-word poem that captures better what a million words could never.) And now I am so excited I can't believe I ever thought of anything else.

The beauty of it is other than seeing Parc Montsouris (that's French, y'all) from the poem, I have no agenda per se, other than to walk around and see the city and the sights, eat bread, drink wine and sit in cafés. And I can't think of anything more delightful than getting lost in Paris, hopefully in the Latin Quarter where all the bookstores are.

Though truthfully, I probably won't get lost. Ray (my boyfriend not my dad) went last year (I'm basically his hayseed girlfriend) and we are traveling with two friends, one of whom speaks French and doesn't consider it a good year unless he's gone to Paris.

So basically my job is to sit back and be awed. That, I am good at.

My biggest concern is how I'm going to get Anna Karenina to Europe. Because why wouldn't I be reading a 950 page tome instead of a reasonably sized, easier to travel with book. Usually I don't even read books this long because it's not my fault the writer needed a better editor and I don't have that kinda time, but at 150 pages in, I gotta see how this unfolds.

Anna is heavy and bulky and I don't really want to carry a big book around, but I can't commit to reading on the iPad quite yet. It feels like... cheating. And is there a better time to read Tolstoy than being trapped with it on a plane for 16 hours round trip? Hell no.

So Anna is coming with me, I'm just undecided in what form.

Anyway, I should go... I'm heading to Target to buy one of those posters of the Eiffel Tower so I can hang it in my dining room so when people come over I can be all, "Oh, I've always loved Paris... and I totally got that at a street fair on the Champs-whatever-it's-called.'


Jonett said...

Enjoy my friend! Have the best time ever and post pictures when you get back!

Aimengler said...

Gina, you are such a great writer! Have a wonderful time in Paris!