Thursday, March 3, 2011

The American Wake Up

I woke up this morning, completely confused.

I swear, two minutes ago I was walking in the Tuileries and so happy to be back in Paris...and then my alarm went off. I will say, this was the most vivid dream I've had in years. I woke up with the smell still in my nose. My feet hurt a little from walking so much. I even felt a little floaty like I'd been enjoying some beverages on the Pont des Arts.

Spending a week in Paris this summer has either damaged me or made me better, I can't tell. I keep thinking back to sitting in the Jardin du Luxembourg, drinking wine from plastic cups, eating chevre rolled in rum-soaked raisins, and painting what lay before me. It's 8:00 o'clock. The police sweep the park and we all must leave and find a new place to people watch...where we sit until 3:00 am.

It's not like that here.

In Paris, you wake up like an American: early, and with the feeling that you have things that must be done. This all changes though when you walk to the window, look outside and realize where you are. There is a little stream running down the street from the nightly street cleaning. The only shops that are open are patisseries and bars serving espresso. There's one or two people walking with briefcases, but you know that they are actually international business people...because Parisians don't force themselves to work early or stay late.

Once you've stared out the window and talked yourself into spending the day like somebody in Paris, then you can truly start to relax, unwinding from the 30 second panic you had as part of your American wake up ritual.

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