15 January 2006

killin' time

Well, it is Sunday here in Paris and I am doing what I usually do on Sunday mornings - I pay bills! But, since I am still on dial-up (can you tell this is killing me?), I have time to write the text of a blog entry while I wait for the web pages of my bills etc to come up. I have to say that the ability to receive and pay bills over the Internet is making this Houston/Paris commute a less of a hassle. Many people would have somebody at home running the household and paying bills for them. Not in my case, so the digital age is making my life easier. And, cutting down on the amount of paper waiting for me when I get home... although I do still like to get the credit card and cell phone bill in paper copy.

The sun is out here for the second day in a row! Until yesterday I had not seen the sun since I got here! Yay! I will wander into the village to get some bread and eats in a while, after I am done paying bills and such. It will be nice to go for a walk in the sun.

Last night I went into Paris. It was an interesting evening. First, I kid you not, I saw the ex's brother-in-law's mother, who lives in Paris. She is a really nice lady from Togo, and she welcomed me to her home about 1 1/2 years ago for dinner, over in one of the suburbs where they had the riots recently. I have to say I was not feeling very safe over there at the time, but it was worth it. She speaks very little English, me very little French, but it was a nice visit. I wanted to say hello to her last night, but she did not see me, and I knew that I would have received a rash of shit, eventually, from the ex, that I am not worthy to speak to his family, etc. etc. etc., and I do not want to stir up a hornets' nest with him taking the dogs at the end of the month to Austin since I am going to be doing the commute thing. It is the best thing for the dogs - it's not good for them to be alone and the sitter coming to the house, and boarding is not really good either. Anyway, it was kind of bittersweet.

I went to the Marais, because it is familiar, and even if there are some tourists who have gotten lost by crossing the River Seine from Notre Dame, this is a place where people live, work, shop, etc. I ran into somebody from work on the street, young guy from Venezuela with his friend on their way to dinner and then salsa dancing. We chatted a bit, but they all pretty much only speak Spanish. So, we had a beer, and I was on my way. I stopped at BHV to find a pair of gloves (though it's getting a little late for that, I am heading back to Houston FRIDAY!). Right now is a time of year for massive sales, Soldes. And you cannot miss it:

I did go over to Notre Dame to just look in wonder and awe at the architecture. It's such an amazing building. On the other hand, oddly, I always look at it and think "that's it?" - clearly I have been biased by the Koelner Dom.

After that, I had 1/2 bottle of wine, a great steak, and some great mousse au chocolat in a little cafe near Hotel de Ville.

I just hung out, drank my wine, smoked and read my book (Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson) in peace. The steak was quite literally, perfect. A little tipsy, I went over to Bears' Den for a beer before heading back to Bougival. I like that place because it is pretty unassuming and the people are friendly. I had forgotten, however, that at 11 it turns into a meat-market when the dance floor opens up, and many a jerk come on in. It turned into a colder, attitude-ridden, unpleasant place to be alone. With some friends it would be a blast. Alone, well, feh. It was time to catch the last metro/bus to the suburbs anyway.