Current croissant situation: Unchanged. Going for a record here. Literally I walk into my usual pain au chocolat place on the way to work and it’s always the same guy behind the counter — he hands me the goods, I hand him the coins, we nod, we part ways. It’s the best relationship I’ve ever been in.
Current bookstore situation: The other day I was headed into St-Germain-Des-Pres to meet up with a friend, and I turned a corner and suddenly there were bookstores everywhere. English-language bookstores. California-themed English-language bookstores. One was called San Francisco Book Company, another was Berkeley Books. One thing that blows my mind about Paris is that whenever I start to feel homesick for something specific — a bookstore, a normal-sized cup of coffee, doughnuts — I feel like I’ll turn a corner and suddenly, whatever it is that I’ve been missing will suddenly be there. I’m hoping this happens soon with Mexican food.
Current bike-riding situation: I’m not a huge bike person — in fact I spent most of my freshman year of college riding my bike around in terror, fully expecting to bring some sort of terrible accident upon myself or others — but for some reason, being in Paris makes me really, really want to ride a bike. It’s probably all of the people riding around with baguettes in their bike baskets (French people really do carry around baguettes as much as the stereotypes would suggest). So I took a day trip up to Deauville the other day, a tiny little beach town in the north of France, and rented a bike for about three hours. The neighborhood was adorable and very flat and easy to ride around, and the weather was perfect, and hardly any cars were around, and a few kids ran away from me and my bike in terror at one point, and it was a very idyllic afternoon. And true to form, towards the end of my bike ride, when I was approaching the rental shop, I was thinking about how proud I was that I hadn’t crashed or hurt myself or anyone, and at that exact moment I came within centimeters of crashing directly into a tree. Jackie travels!
Current vocabulary situation: Only one today, because it’s a good one: paperclip is trombone, because paperclips are shaped like little trombones. This is the cutest thing I have ever heard in my entire life.
Current French shoes situation: I wanted French shoes, I searched for French shoes, I finally found and drooled over and BOUGHT French shoes. And they are good, you guys. I actually saw a girl trying them on in a shoe store, and then literally stalked her around the store until she asked me if I needed help and I asked her where she found the shoes. I may be a creep, but I get the job done.
Current back pain situation: Bad. I’ve mentioned here briefly that I’ve been suffering from chronic back pain for several months now, and it only seems to be getting more frequent and slightly worse. At this point, my back hurts at night so much sometimes that it wakes me up. One of the only reasons I am excited to return to New York is that I can see my doctor again to get this figured out. I’m also thinking of trying acupuncture for the first time, though I’ve never really enjoyed the thought of strangers sticking needles into me, particularly now that I’ve been listening to so many murder podcasts.
Current murder podcast situation: Guys, I’ve been listening to Casefile, a podcast about true crime (I think it’s at least 95%, if not 100%, murder related) and it’s so good. The narrator has a very strong Australian accent, and many of the crimes took place in Australia, and if you know anything about the weird type of shit that goes down in Australia, that will tell you something about these crimes. My favorites are: The Somerton Man (this one is a great and truly frustrating mystery); Katherine Knight (one of the most famous – and intense – murders in Australia); and The Weepy-Voiced Killer (Pro: all the stuff that good scary stories are made of. Con: is so scary that it will keep you awake for the rest of your life, probably).
This is my second to last weekend in Paris! I can’t believe it. I need to buy another suitcase this weekend, start cleaning the apartment (shockingly no wine stains to clean up — although I guess I have two weeks left, shouldn’t speak so soon), make a trip over to the Musee D’Orsay (only went once, when I was around 21 I think), and if the weather is nice, I’m going to try to soak up the sun in Bois de Boulogne with my French Harry Potter book.