The Last Days

January 11th, 2009 by Paul

It hasn’t entirely warmed up yet from the cold that seems to be on the minds of everyone in Paris. At least the sky is clear. On Friday, while we were leaving the Louvre just after dusk, Misty remarked that this was the first time she remembered seeing the moon during our time here.

In all the times that I’ve been here this is the first time I’ve been to the Louvre. I was dreading the crowds, but as it turns out going late on a Friday during a frigid January is a great time to visit the museum. The biggest crowds were around the Mona Lisa, of course, and it wasn’t very easy to get past the mass of camera phones to get a good look. Other than that, it was easy to move around, and quite peaceful if you had an interest in 18th century decorative arts and the like.

The night was beautiful, and eventually we found ourselves looking out the windows onto the Cour Carré or the Pyramide rather than at the artwork.

There are many things that I will miss about living here. I’ll miss the bakeries where we got our daily baguette. I’ll miss the boucheries where we bought meat for our dinners and the pâté for my lunch (I’ve developed quite a terrible addiction to the stuff, so I’ve resolved to start making pâté and rillettes at home. If it turns out well, I’m sure I’ll have plenty to share).

I’ll miss the new friends we’ve made here, although it’s never goodbye because we know we’ll be back to Paris someday.

I’ll miss the Metro. Living in Seattle, it’s easy to develop transit envy for practically any city that has even a modicum of fast and reliable public transportation. Even among larger cities, though, the Paris Metro is something entirely special. You are never more than a five minute walk from a Metro station, and in general it is easy to get from any part of the city to the other. Unless you are going from the 11th arronidissement to the 5th — then you might as well walk.

For the past couple weeks, we’ve been in that period at the end of any long journey where thoughts always turn toward returning home. While Paris would be an easy city to live in for us, we’re also looking forward to getting back to our home in Seattle. We’re looking forward to seeing our friends again, to our apartment on Capitol Hill, and our rabbits.

There’s a parting phrase in French, bonne continuation. I don’t think we have a good translation for it in English, but it can be taken to mean “all the best” or “good luck for the future.” It’s more of a permanent goodbye, though, and while we have to say au revoir to our life in Paris, I would prefer to also say à la prochaine. Until next time….

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