I’m enamored with this city but there’s no denying I have my gripes. I thought my biggest issue would be the language - I’m trying but failing miserably to pass as a French-speaking mademoiselle. But it turns out my biggest problem is the lack of coffee.
I like my coffee to be served in pitchers; heaping buckets of steamy (or icy) deliciousness with just a bit of sugar. I recognize that this makes me a stereotypical American (and Sanders, I got it from my papa) but Paris, your “petite cafe” is bringing me down.
At first I was embarrassed to admit this - seriously Jamie, you’re spending the summer in France and you just can’t get past the small coffee (#firstworldproblems) - but it all came out when my fellow American told me all she wanted this past weekend was a giant iced coffee. What ensued was a 15 min conversation detailing how much we love coffee in colossal portions. Of course our French friends responded with a chuckle and an overt judgement of our Americanness looking down on us much in the same way my roommate did when I made an entire pot of coffee for myself that morning.
That’s ok France. You can go ahead and judge me for the fact that my idea of a good time is a café hop in which I order a double espresso from every café I pass, but this is who I am. And no rude counter girl in Starbucks (aka the only place that serves these portions) is going to deter me from ordering a venti iced coffee. Consider this my only act of patriotism in August.
It has recently come to our attention that you are on what some might call a “shopping spree” and the balance of your bank account is extremely low. We know you’re having fun in Paris and that you just had to have those orange oxfords, but the dollar is not what it used to be and you are going to run out of your money tomorrow if you don’t calm yourself. SERIOUSLY. Calm. Your. Self.
“Preferring to take refuge in his passion for Woody Allen, she somehow resists the pressure of his family who seeks only the squeeze.”— Google Translator. Thanks for all your help decoding that movie plot line for me! I hate when families seek only the squeeze.
Find the time for wine: a lessen in time management
I spent the day in bed. I’d like to blame it on jetlag or the rainy day that kept me from venturing out but the truth is that it was the result of last night’s festivities creeping into the early morning. I won’t pretend this was the first (or undoubtedly the last) time I’ve seen the sun peek up over the horizon as I made my way home, but it was definitely the first in a long time. I’ve only been in Paris for a few days but I’ve had the privilege of meeting some amazing people already. Luckily they share my love for cheap wine and my penchant for turning dinner parties into a debate and/or dance party – usually both. But it turns out that cheap wine leaves it’s mark, no matter the country and no amount of café or pain au chocolat could lure me out of this hangover. I just had to wait it out the old fashioned way: in bed.
The next day would be for exploring so I plotted my moves for Monday. Living without my iphone isn’t terrible but it definitely requires me to put on my planning hat – something all of my former roommates can tell you I don’t wear very often. So I went down the rabbit hole that is Parisian tourism and mapped out a day filled with sketching at the Louvre, perfecting my pronunciation at cafés, searching for the perfect macaroon, and a dash of uncertainty. But during this exercise it struck me how brief my time is in Paris. I have but mere weeks to discover the city that could take a lifetime to explore. No, this doesn’t mean I’m moving to Paris (I don’t think) but it dawned on me that I will only be here for such a brief moment; I can already feel myself missing it in September. There’s just never enough time…
Time, its such a funny thing. To take something so infinite and chop it up into blocks of hours and weeks and years so we can grasp something that stretches beyond any understanding we could ever achieve. It’s so vast and yet we get to enjoy such a finite piece of it that it hardly seems fair. Of course that’s what makes it so powerful, that it’s only ours for such a short time. If we had it any longer it would just become another dispensable, disposable toy to disregard and ignore. We only live for an instant, a brief second in the infinity of time. But if all I have is a moment, I chose to spend it with strangers turned friends and a glass of cheap wine, waiting for the sun to rise.