22 March 2006

dirty Frenchie!

My glasses, which broke in London (titanium is not supposed to break!) were finally ready yesterday, so I ventured into central Paris yesterday after work. It was a pretty eventful evening in its own way. At Chatellet/Les Halles station there was a seeing eye dog that looked just like my dog Bucky, and I started to have a minor meltdown missing my dogs and cats. I really miss them. I should be home for about three weeks in April and hope to have them for a week.

After recovering from that, I sat looking at Notre Dame from a distance, and then went into BHV to buy a new wallet. Mine is in pieces after four years of service. I hope I can fix it at home or I will get another one. This was supposed to a temporary wallet, and it still took me 30 minutes to find one. Size matters: SMALL. Many people might say that for a guy, buying a wallet is like a woman buying a purse. Not so! Most women have a couple of purses and move in/out of them based on the occasion, and have one wallet that seems more utilitarian than personal. For a guy, a wallet is a part of you. For me it's like finding a new boyfriend. And this was harder, not easier, because it's temporary and the ones there were expensive. I was not about to traipse around Paris looking for cheap wallet.

The trauma was minimized by the distraction of two American women who decided that their lack of French was easily mitigated by being extra rude and speaking very loudly. Not "excusez mois, Monsieur, je nes parles pas Francias, where is the subway?", but rather "WHERE IS THE SUBWAY?!" At the check-out they were especially rude and right next to me. I lowered my head and mumbled "veuillez excuser mes Américains amicaux" and my cashier and theirs burst out laughing, and I got "c'est OK, vous sont tout ne horrible pas, et Monsieur parlez un peu tres bien!"... which made my fellow ugly Americans look at me like "dirty Frenchie!".  Wheeeeeee!!!

I took my new "boyfriend" with me in my back pocket to Le Cox for a well-deserved beer. Already I had worked 22 hours this week. Then I had some awesome onion soup at this little place that gives you the right size bowl for not too much money, and it is made with fresh onions, not the freeze dried stuff. I sat in the fishbowl all warm and cozy with Heineken on tap and watched the Parisians hurrying about tending to their daily lives.

Then off to get my glasses. I can see again! Instant headache from going back to my new prescription, but that's OK. Spent some time gazing at Arc d'Triomphe, feeling all conflicted about being here. I love it but miss home. I'm split between here and there.