mardi 3 juin 2008

is this the last time?

A wonderful 5th arrondisement day.Had brunch with Lucia right outside at La Salle à Manger. I've passed this place a million times and have never eaten there. We got Le Vitaminé which includes sliced bread, rolls, a croissant and a pain au chocolat, choice of café, chocolat or café au lait, and an orange juice. All the breads come with 5 glass jars containing honey, marmalade, peanut butter, raspberry jam, and vanilla spread. Quite the breakfast. We both got chocolats and it was really good, not as rich as Angelina's, but still tasty. We sipped it in bowls.

When we were done we stood outside at the bottom of the street talking about the weather when I see my landlord coming towards me, all smiles. He greets us and asks if I can write a letter to the next tenant about my impressions of where I lived and what I liked about the quartier. I guess he found someone to stay at my place. I happily said yes.

Afterwards, since Lucia's leaving on next Thursday, we did some souvenir shopping at St. Michel. I got stuff for my neighbors and family too. Walked also to Gibert Jeune so that Lucia can get a Lamy fountain pen for her friend. She told me that her friend like the color "mustard yellow", and I suggested the Lamy Safari since it comes in yellow. She's also bought other Lamys for friends. It's a really great fountain pen. Sleek and modern, and not too heavy that your hand fatigues when you write. I should seriously be sponsored by them. Anyway, headed over to Café Panis and sat in comfy leather chairs. Lucia planned her to-do list for the week, and I made some plans for myself. I want to be "done" with things by next Friday when my parents come so that I can spend time with them when they're here. Added books to read on my summer reading list and souvenirs to buy for family and friends. We stayed there for at least 2 hours just talking, writing and planning, people watching and listening in on tourists' conversations.Walked across the street to Shakespeare and Co. and found a used book that was on my summer reading list for cheap (Arthurian Romances by Chretien de Troyes). Yay! Also bumped into Melissa and Alan. Then Alan bumped into his Dutch friend David and his three friends. Small world. They met up with us later at Shywawa where we were celebrating Kathy having finished an 11 page paper. Susie, Taylor, and Taylor's friend Jeremy came too. We played Melissa's mind games that were sort of frustrating ("In my world, there's beer, but no wine. There's Holland, but no Sweden. What else is in my world?") and just about killed ourselves over Lucia's FBI scenario question. It was nice, this long table of people and beers, different conversations and games going on, having to lean closer to people you just met asking, "What? What'd you say?" It was lovely...

This was a really lovely day despite the overcast weather, the fact that Lucia's leaving in a week, that I'm leaving in a month, and despite that in a small corner of my mind I have the departure and the packing and the last of this and that and everything connected with saying goodbye crouched in that corner waiting to spring and tear me away from what's been my city, my home for a year. Every time I walk into a café or eat a certain French dish I think, "Is this the last time?" And yet I don't feel any regret or a rush to do things. I am at peace. I've seen what I wanted to see. There are more places I'd like to visit, but if I don't get to them, then all the more reason to come back to Paris, my home for a year.