• strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 149.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /nfs/c11/h04/mnt/199200/domains/mommyser.com/html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.

‘What time is it’, ‘how do you say’, and the long road to paradise…. Part 1

‘What time is it’, ‘how do you say’, and the long road to paradise…. Part 1
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Well, we finally made it. At least I think we’ve made it. At this point, there’s something so surreal about looking out my window and seeing the Paris garrets — a la the cartoon version of Paris Ratatouille (the movie that started this grand adventure, and a story for another day) –instead of our old oak tree, and just a few stories below, the Gap – why are even Gap clothes cuter in Paris? –, the sound of French revelers on their way home, and the European sirens punctuating the morning silence, that I’m not even sure I’ve arrived, or if I’m still in some sort of way station for weary travelers, where my body has arrived, but the rest of me is still on route… For a reasonably well-seasoned traveler in a highly civilized place, I am still amazed every time by the difficulties of adjustment.

Case in point: the trip en route. Three layovers, and one kamikaze-style trip into Manhattan from JFK for a last supper of sorts: a vegan feast at my favorite of all restaurants, Angelica Kitchen, nearly cost us our lives as we ended up stranded on a subway platform in Queens? trying to get back to the airport (who knows where we were, but suffice it to say that in Paris, we might be taken for hopelessly-unstylish Parisians before we open our mouths – here, we had no such luxury. My son also had his first encounter with ‘crazy’ as his leg was fondled by a toothless lady saying he was too old not to care that the government hadn’t washed the courthouse – think earnest five year old – I’m STILL hearing about that dirty courthouse, and ‘what’s that word, mama? – mentally-challenged-woman-in-hopelessly-myopic-alternate-reality?’ I love New York, and might even have been disappointed if I didn’t get at least a little dose of it’s inimitable style. Still, I have never been happier to hear the utterly refined English flight attendants on British Airways comment winningly on my son’s Spiderman ‘rucksack’.

On to Paris via Heathrow, where everyone treated me with the respect that in the US seems only reserved for pregnant women (maybe I looked a little pregnant after boredom-munching en route?), escorting me, my motley family and my over-the-limit carry-ons thru special lines and elevators to expedite our trip onto the next airplane… aahh, the English manners. I’m in love.

And finally, into Paris, with an eager, and heart-stoppingly handsome fieldhockey pro –turned-landlord, who picked us up, at the airport, and had the courtesy to hardly look askance at our luggage as we piled it into his Renault like advanced players of Tetris.

And ahhh, we’ve made it. Well, almost. My husband’s feeling a bit lost, as none of his French is returning to his jet-lagged mind (even my son pointed this out as Daddy scouted out a restaurant for tables, ‘shouldn’t you have gone in first, Mommy? Daddy can’t speak…’) I, on the other hand, may remember my broken French, but stare blankly at menus as I change gears mentally from vegan-friendly vegetable lover into Paris gourmet – okay I’ll start with the steak tartare, followed by the filet of beef with Roquefort cheese, and polish it off with the cheese plate and a glass of red wine. (and I wonder why I feel hopelessly jet-lagged?) I also feel a little lost as I notice, without the need to be particularly self-effacing, that I am by far the least stylish woman walking these streets in the cute, utterly hip neighborhood of our Saint Germain sublet. (No one has ever accused me of style-less-ness in my home office out of sweet Austin, Texas, where a pair of heels or a non-maxi skirt is already deeply overdressed. Go figure.) I feel as though I’m in a dream, and alternate between feeling that dream to be a fairy tale, and, well, definitely not a nightmare, but the variety where you think, ‘maybe I’ll just go back to sleep for a while and see if life makes more sense the next time I wake up.’

My son is the one who ultimately holds the space for this Paris fantasy-turned-reality –minus an episode of indignance when he found out chocolate croissants are for breakfast, not dessert. ‘No, no, no, you misunderstand! I said ch-o-co-late croissant.’ Still, it was nothing that a lemon crepe and a scoop of chocolate glace couldn’t rectify. The minute he set foot on French soil he pronounced, ‘this is our new home,’ and nothing, not even the apartment the size of our texas walk-in closet, has derailed him from this assertion. He even insisted on walking to the Eiffel tower last night, to see it all lit up against the Paris sky. He feels at home here, despite all the language barriers, all the differences, all the sleep-deprived confusion of his parents. Walking the streets last night he again shouted, without reason, ‘this is our home!’ Well, the Parisians may not yet agree, but still, they’re very polite with his enthusiasm.

And I will say, maybe it was the jetlag, or the wine, or the exhausting process of getting here, but I slept like a baby last night, and rose with the sun without benefit of alarm clock, something I haven’t done since I was twenty year old girl, alone in the world with a backpack. Maybe that’s my paradise found – a rekindled spirit of adventure, — that this time, I get to share.

 

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