Paris 1

I am in Paris, and I love Paris.

yesterday and today I did my nine sun salutations in the whisper of space between my bed and the door. my view was the sun on the sacre couer. I then locked all my luggage obsessively and set out in the streets of Paris.

my first two observations on this journey:

1. cold is not negotiable. I have spent euros on silly hat and jacket because it’s actually and truly cold here.

2. language is life. to be surrounded by non-English is liberating and daunting. I messed up a few times by starting in English, then realizing my ignorance. no one likes that. it’s important to start in French, to apologize for not being fluent, to request English or amateur sign language or at least slow speaking. to start with taking responsibility, not assuming the world should accommodate my lack of preparation, my needs.

then it’s beautiful to see how we long to communicate. over and over again, a meals, on the train, in the hammam…up against the wall of language, I find myself and my non-english speaking companions mirroring each other as we repeat the words, sure that if we say it enough times, with enough gesture and desire, comprehension will just happen. sometimes it does, and we both nod vigorously and celebrate.

example 1.
me: ‘wifi? internet? computer? *typing motions, pointing to space, pulling out iPod’…
her: ..’ohhh wee-fee? oui, oui, ici Le wee-fee!!’
me: *internal backflips of joy!*

example 2.
me: ‘ou est Le…exfoliation?’ *rubbing my arm*
her: ‘er…Le massage? (string of words I don’t understand, my face of huh?)
me: ch-ch-ch-ch *frantically rubbing skin and going ooh ahh*
her: ah Le gommage? oui? c’est la, Porte un (the key her is lots of instructive pointing!)
me: *internal backflips of joy! applauding us!*

the beautiful thing is that words I learned over 10 years ago are coming back to me, the marvelous brain and it’s grooves.

now I’m off to get lost again 🙂