Monday, April 27, 2009

A fitting start

So I'm here. Day two in Paris is wrapping up and I still feel a little lost/tired/shaky/oh-my-god-I-don't-speak-French-what-am-I-doing, but the hey-this-is-actually-going-to-be-great is starting to outweigh that feeling.

When this plan was just formulating, I told a grad student in Kingston that I was thinking of moving to Paris, mostly so I could ride an antique bicycle around old streets with a baguette sticking out of the basket. I was being self-deprecating, because it's not a fantasy that calls for a lot of imagination, and recent-graduate-in-Europe has kind of been done. But this guy still believes in Paris, and he told me to go for it, genuinely enthused by the antique bicycle idea. Then he told me seriously that I would never forget my first ten minutes with the Eiffel Tower. Which takes the phallic imagery a little far, I think.

But I was prepared for a little big of magic. I'm 23 and I just moved to Paris and it's springtime, and even though I thought his take on the romance of the city was un peu trop, I expected the Eiffel Tower to have some aura. So I got out of the metro this morning, heading to the American Cathedral. And when I looked up there was a familiar silhouette in the sky. And I leaned on a hydro pole for a minute trying to take in the magic of my first few minutes with the Eiffel Tower...

...except it had some green netting around the top,a nd I couldnt see the bottom of it, and I wasn't entirely sure that it even was the Eiffel Tower, so instead I went into a shop and bought some cheese.

And now that it's a few hours later and I've eaten and had a nap and am no longer quite so frightened of Paris and everyone/everything in it, it occurs to me that of course it was the Eiffel Tower, and that the city isn't full of small-scale near-replicas of its most famous landmark, and I'm an idiot. But isn't that just the most typically Rachel way to kick off a year in Paris?


  1. is it so totally wrong that I'm glad you're gone?
    I'm ONLY glad you're gone because you're writing again.
    everything else about it is sad.


  2. Rachel, your Camino blog really rocks.
    A real antidote to the selfrighteous drivel of many blogs, or the endless descriptions of having a cup of coffee every morning.

    I'm looking forward to following your account of Paris.

  3. I'm bursting with excitement for you. Bursting. You're 23 and you're in Paris in the springtime!