The most valuable knowledge I learned this week is that if you need to go to the bathroom while you’re out enjoying the city of Paris, think again. Today I took joy in understanding the terrible pain that must overcome many individuals like myself, who find themselves in need of a toilet, with nowhere to go. Pardon my American-ness for bringing this up, but I wonder every day what the Parisiens must do when they need to go. The only options I have found are: (very few) public pay toilets (to which I forgot to bring money and had to turn around and sulk), or toilets in restaurants. Which is strictly forbidden (lest you sit down and order something). Paris toilets remind me of the Lion King – it’s that dark and shadowy land that Mufasa tells Simba he must never visit. I shall further investigate this topic of high interest and report back to you all on my findings throughout these next 3 months. This is a mission.
On another note, I was a classic tourist this weekend, basking in the 75+ weather and the free monuments open to the public throughout the city. My friends and I waited in line to climb the Notre Dame for an hour and a half and I had minor heart palpitations remembering how I once waited in line for the Empire State Building for three hours. Never. Again. This trip, however, was definitely worth it. We had a complete view all the way around the top and could see the entire city without a single cloud in the sky. Topping it all off with a stroll on the Seine and a premium gelato.
The program described going through stages of adjustment to your surroundings. The first being the honeymoon phase where EVERYTHING IS SO AWESOME. The next phase involves struggling to identify with the culture and pulling away a bit. I can’t see myself heading in that direction. When I think about where I live, I realize I don’t have ENOUGH time here. While many people I know are flying off to Spain/Italy/Prague/Etc for their weekends, all I can do is think about how I can’t leave Paris because there’s too much to do and not enough time… Meanwhile, I’m glad that everyone wants to come here because that means that I get to see all my favorite people without having to spend money on travel!
L’shana tova to all my Jews – wishing everyone a very sweet new year.
P.S. I ate snails (escargot) tonight for dinner – and I loved it.