dimanche 8 juin 2008

the mouffe'

I spent most of Saturday in my quartier or in my studio writing at my window seat with the windows wide open. It was really special since there was a brocante, or second-hand stuff/antique sale, going on outside in my quartier. Streets lined with people trying to sell their awesome antiques as well as their un-sellable (I know that's not a word) crap. I saw a lot of cool furniture, but nothing small that was cool. I was looking for something for Kuya's girl Kathy. This little girl wanted a stone sculpture of a rabbit. The kind of sculpture you'd put in your garden, but her Mom said no. The little girl replied, "Mais pourquoi? C'est mignon!" (But why? It's cute!)

Also saw a boy, around my age, admiring a wooden standing valet. Those old-timey free standing suit hangers that holds the pants and the suit jacket as well as a tray for stuffs. Just seeing him inspect it and think about buying it filled me with joy.

Today I spent even more time at the brocante. Yesterday was a run-through while today was a more detailed look. Met Lucia and Keisha by the fountain and we went around to all the vendors. Helped Keisha decide to get two leather belts and a snakeskin portfolio. Yesterday, Lucia bought a set of cups and saucers. I myself was looking for cups and saucers.Keisha found an incredible automatic Mont Blanc watch. Keisha knows her watches since she specialized in them at Louis Vuitton. The face was huge and unscratched since it was double crystal or something like that. All I remember her saying was that nothing would scratch it except for diamond. The guy wanted 150 euros, but we walked away.Then, at another vendor, Lucia found another set of cups and saucers that were made in the south of France. They were really amazing. Man, if I had seen them first, I would have got them, but c'est la vie. She saw them. It's like that unspoken rule of not dating a guy that your friend liked first. I think the vendor could tell that I liked them too because he said I looked "mignonne" (cute) when I saw them. They just really made me smile. I would have bought them if Lucia didn't. And she already bought cups and saucers!!! Dang. Maybe more luck at the Marche Aux Puces.

Went through the whole brocante. Keisha kept debating about the watch. We had a most delicious lunch at Cave La Bourgogne, a restaurant right in the square. My landlord told me it was really good when I moved in, but I've never had the chance to eat there. I am so glad I did though. Got the plat du jour, steak with a bordelaise sauce and vegetables. House wine as usual. It was DELICIOUS and not expensive for the portions (14.80 euros). I was so glad that I brought my appetite since I only had fruit and tea for breakfast. We sat on the terrace, inside-outside. Since the streets are closed off for the brocante, my landlord was playing his music by the fountain. Across the street, we saw a man propose to a girl at the Café Le Saint Médard. We caught the tail end of it, everyone clapping and the couple kissing.Ordered dessert and café. Lucia wanted flan, but the waiter didn't understand so I explained, "C'est comme crème brulée, mais c'est pas brulée." (It's like burnt cream, but not burnt." He laughed, saying to himself in French "That's good! That's good! Not burnt! Haahahah". It made me so happy to make this guy smile just because he seemed like he was in a nasty mood since it was so busy. It put him in good spirits. He said that it was called crème caramel. And I got a crème brulée.An older couple took a photo of us, and the husband correctly guessed that we were Californian students. How funny. He also said that he liked my earrings and did I get them in Santiago? How weird. Keisha was still debating the watch, so we went back again, and she got to negotiate the watch down to 90 euros. I was so happy for her and her big faced masculine automatic Mont Blanc watch. I liked that the back was clear, and you can see the mechanism at work.

During lunch, Keisha had asked me what I was going to miss the most about Paris. I didn't even have to think about it: my quartier. None of my previous living situations would come close to this neighborhood, this experience. And will I ever have it this good again? It's really hard to say. In the quiet words of Toby Flenderson: "I'm gonna chase that feeling." Sorry, obscure "The Office" quote. But it really sums up my sentiments.