Today is a day of errands. My companion is off helping a student filmmaker make his thesis film and I am left to my own devices. I wake early (Yes, you heard that right… early!) to see him go and to start my day.
So what do Parisians do in the morning? Perhaps prepare their first cup of coffee. Perhaps. Probably go get the morning croissant and baguette. Even if that isn’t what they do that is what I will do! I go in search of the neighborhood boulangerie (bakery for all you non-Parisians) and return to my closest supermarché.
So once I map out my route, I depart. I also must go to the bank, so first I head there while enjoying “my” neighborhood. The walk is only two blocks but it takes me a while since I stop to photograph anything that catches my eye.
Once there, I return to the apartment (pied-a-terre) and towards the boulangerie where I confidently (Okay, not so confidently ask for 4 croissants, donut, and can he add another two croissants please? Bonne journée madame. The equivalent of “Have a good day.” A vous aussi. You too. Yay! I manage to feel like I belong.
And with my precious croissants – my, do they smell good – I go to the supermarket that reminds me when they opened in Elkins Park, Philadelphia a million (well, maybe about 20 years ago). I like their baskets, which have a curve so I can carry it on my side without having to lean like the Tower of Pisa. Now back to the apartment. I put away my groceries. Munch on a croissant. Vaguely think that all these carbs that I am consuming are going to make me fat. Quickly discard that fact and stare at the pile of clothes I have to take to the lavomatique (laundromat). Procrastinating sounds just the way to deal with this, but I do not…mainly propelled by the fact that I have no more socks or undies left clean, than by a recognition that procrastinating will get me nowhere.
Again I map my course and off I go! I pick up the keys which are the oddest shape. And with my very heavy two bags of clothes I go into the unknown. I’m really not that sure of where it is. After a quite a few blocks I must admit to myself (though not to others) that I have mapped out my course dreadfully wrong. So I ask a woman on the street where is the closest laundromat and manage to understand perfectly well her directions. Am relieved to know it is only two more blocks away and that I will not have to climb these steps to get to it. Or these… By the way, on the side is “The Aztec” club which is a weight training gym. I get a kick out of that.
What I’m not getting a kick out of is carrying these two heavy bags of clothes. As I approach the laundromat I spot a word that propels me back home: Audition. Never mind that it refers to nothing about my profession (acting) but does refer to auditory needs. And I arrive. Phew! I don’t take a picture ’cause I am way too busy trying to figure out how to work/pay for the wash. The machines are tiny. It’s about $6 a wash. Yikes! And only after somebody actually comes to my aid am I able to use them.
What I do with great ease is go to the café, the Arch in the Sky, (L’arc en Ciel) next door, empty except for one table of locals outside, and sit and feel like I am really part of this neighborhood. Une noisette s’il vous plait. A little espresso with a drop of milk please (And can I feel any more French today?). I read. I look out the lace curtain. I survey the place. I like the fact that my waiter seems to be 100 years old and doesn’t question my choice of boisson (drink). Time to pay and return to my errands. I fold. I feel good. I am loving everything just about now.
Would love to see this particular wood window open one day. Even through the bars I find myself enjoying washing dishes. Dean comes home just in time to enjoy another beautiful sunset in the neighborhood!