Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Paris daily

Ah, how quickly we've settled into routine...

There's a gentle rhythm to days when you have a few things that you have to do but plenty of time in which to do them. That means there's time for all those other little things, like writing in a journal, planning out a day-trip for later in the week, and gazing out the window at the roof across the courtyard and the gray sky above it, with the clouds that slowly move across the whole scene.

That's what's happened in our second week here; we've got our little routines, but that doesn't mean we've sunk into ruts! Hardly. I made a day-trip to Fontainbleau this week.
The Library, CC*BY Mark Schlemmer
I am not sure I've ever seen a man-made thing so over-the-top, though I no doubt will find Versaille even more so than Fontainbleau, from what I've heard. But then there's the Grand Canyon, the desert at sunrise and Big Sur. I get chills just thinking about places like that. Not so much with castles.

But chocolat chaud, absolutely incredible. I will swoon over a good hot chocolate any time. I had one this week. It was served with an empty cup and two little pitchers. The smaller pitcher was filled with smooth-as-silk melted hot chocolate; the second with steamed milk. Being a novice, not knowing just how to proceed, I just poured *all* the chocolate into my cup and then topped it off with a little hot milk. I could have died right there after the first sip and been completely content. So this is now the chocolate trip, like our earlier trip was the gelato trip. We had for that trip a daily budget for gelato of about $15, and that was a decade ago. This time chocolat chaud, oh, and croissants.
Chocolat chaud, à la Carette

French is coming along well. There are times I hear and understand whole conversations, short ones to be sure, but still. Every word! Yea! Other times I understand nothing, but those are usually other people's conversations where I lack context. And most people talk so fast. I think I'm disadvantaged by being from Texas. I just talk slower and I hear slower too, I guess. I love the classes though and can't imagine missing even a single day. We're reading these lovely little stories about "minuscule pleasures." Exactly my kind of thing. One need only notice to find life an incredible thing.
Premiére Gorgée
The book is called La Premiére Gorgée de Biére, by Philippe Delerm. The first sip of beer, out of the bottle. Dennis has always said it was the best. My favorite story so far, "Helping to shell peas." Imagine that.

The morning classes, as much as I love them, make my trips to the bakery a very early morning ritual because I have to fit them in along with quite a few other things before I go to class. So, leisurely mornings are reserved to the weekends. Sounds so familiar, like a time far away and long ago.

So, 'en avant la troisiéme semaine!'
Eric Kaiser Bakery

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