In Paris we have no family. They are in the U.S., Australia, and England, and we usually find ourselves wishing we could be in more than one place at once.
But not right now. For three days, it’s just the two of us, the apartment in Paris, and the strange, satisfying feeling that our time is our own. I am just so happy to be here.
When we were here last month, we had ahead of us the bulk of the work in clearing my mother’s house. Now we have ahead of us our flights back to Sydney, where we will shift gears once again, settle back into our own home, and reconnect with our nearest and dearest in Australia. Small gifts for them, combined with precious New Jersey items, have our suitcases heavy and ready to burst.
(Internal) Critics, Please Go Away
Our you-should-be-working, you-should-be-spending-time-with-family internal critics have been gagged and locked in the entry cupboard. They could not wake us up this morning, could not get us out of bed before noon, could not stop us having baguette, paté, Camembert, Président buerre doux (creamy sweet butter), and an extra cup of coffee or two for breakfast in the early afternoon.
The Endless Magic of Paris
Nor could those internal critics comment on our not being dressed and ready to leave the apartment until 5pm, going for a kir (cassis liqueur mixed with white wine) at the local café, and taking a long walk along the Marché de Noel (Christmas market) on the Champs-Elysées, then under the Eiffel Tower to Trocadéro. Most of the market stalls are selling cheap trinkets and Christmas baubles, but it’s colourful and fun, and we bought cups of vin chaud (hot red wine), to warm our hands and insides.
The weather was crisp and clear when we arrived last night, and again this evening. We were dazzled by the winter Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde, then by the Eiffel Tower lit up in blue and displaying the EU stars, which signify that President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is currently serving his rotating term as President of the European Union.
I feel almost certain that after a significant length of time here, we would miss having family nearby. We’ve never been in Paris long enough to find out. As mentioned above, no matter where we are, we always feel like we’re missing someone, somewhere, as is the case with many ex-pats and their families. Clive’s 89 year-old father cried when we left England, a very emotional time for Clive only a few days after I said goodbye to my family in the U.S.
I don’t look forward to missing family, but I do look forward someday to being in Paris long enough for that feeling to emerge.
Filed under: Paris |