I feel like if I blink, I’ll miss something here in Paris, we are moving so quickly, the pace frenetic at times. The week has gone by in such a blink as well (if I were to further that metaphor).

I wonder how this will all sink into my head, my psyche–I know that the color red has just been amplified in my eyes these days–something about the color red, here in gray but beautiful Paris (a testimony to its beauty–really, what can look so pretty in gray?), is incredible and becoming. Red flowers in windowboxes, the red signs of the metro, red awnings…all against a deep metallic colored sky and black ironwork and creamy white building facades. And Parisians (when you can spot the rare Parisian in August) don’t wear anything but black.

And then there are all the windows of all the homes in these towns, with the inhabitants occasionally hanging out the windows, watching us as if we’re characters on a television program. Old men, old women, possibly homebound during a workday…and then there’s the man above, taking a cigarette break on his very narrow balcony, looking at the world from above. I looked at him and thought, “Just like a writer viewing his story.”

I’m tired yet stimulated, my body doesn’t know what time it is, sometimes I don’t know where I am, and so I feel like I’m sleepwalking in a wonderland. Sunny Beaune, in the Burgundy countryside, feels like a dream, and now I’ve segued into another dream set in Paris. Nevermind London, which has become foggy already in my memories, even though we were just there a few days ago–was that a dream? And yet, here I am in bed, about to succomb to more literal dreams.

Tomorrow we hustle over to London on the Eurostar train through the Chunnel…and then we’re bound for home. Home! Another town looms ahead.

(and as soon as I hit London–I realized red a big color there, too–the red doubledecker buses, the red phone booths, the red guard uniforms at Buckingham Palace…! Though somehow, London is not so gray as Paris).




Filed under Travel

8 responses to “blink

  1. That’s a great picture of the man on the balcony.

  2. connie

    Mmm, yes, I know exactly how you feel! I was lucky enough to visit for a just little bit longer, but I felt like I had stumbled on such a jewel of place, I had to be awake as much as possible the entire time to soak up as much of the experience as I could. Of course, that might have been the jet lag, the cigarette smoke and the coffee. Paris is a real marvel in city planning with such a rich and illustrious history, yet it retains a truly intimate poigancy for me. Not to mention the cheese and the pastries!

    According to an urban legend, when the Germans were leaving after the occupation, they were supposed to set explosives to various landmarks – Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur… (you get the idea) But whoever what supposed to set them off just couldn’t bear to do it.

    I suppose I’m revealed as a Francophile. BTW, if you haven’t read “Paris to the Moon”, I highly recommend it.

  3. I am in a lounge at Heathrow–I have to say I am still quite the Anglophile, preferring London over Paris, but I have a good respect for Paris and its beauty. I didn’t get to do a lot of things, but I did get a feel for the place.

    So Connie, we can be the friends who jet back and forth and meet each other on either sides of the Chunnel one day when we are rich old ladies. 😛

  4. Violeta

    Gorgeous photos! Your mention of the colors reminds me of the Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Three Colors Trilogy” movies (Blue, White, and Red, after the colors of the French flag). If you haven’t seen them you should watch them.

  5. Violeta: absolutely I have seen the 3 colors trilogy–they are wonderful! Everytime I walk past a recycling “collection container” on a European avenue, I am reminded of Blue, White, and Red. 🙂

  6. People looking out of windows make me feel melancholic, for some reason, but your picture of the man viewing his world does not. Glad to hear you had a happy time in Paris. I do love that city – in any weather.

  7. Living vicariously through you…:-)

  8. charloteotter: This man just really struck me–he was many stories above a very busy street in the Marais! And yet he seemed so very much in control and though he was alone, he did not seem lonely at all. Very different from all the others hanging out their windows. 🙂

    arirang: I am hoping you are experiencing good things vicariously through me!

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