Saturday, May 05, 2007


Paris, Ah, Paris! What is this world or this life without Paris? I don't want to answer that. It is unthinkable and unbearable. In March, on my trip to Sicily, I had 2 stopovers in Paris. I was at Charles de Gaulle airport for a few hours on my way to and from Sicily. I'm going back to Sicily in October this year. I have decided to spend a day in Paris.
Just as I'm putting together an itinerary for Sicily, I am also researching what to do in Paris for a day. I've been to Paris 4 times before but there's always something left to do or I could just hang out. I've decide to stay in a different arrondissement, the 6 eme on the left bank. I've always stayed in the 1eme or the 4eme on the right bank. I'll hang out around St Germain de pres and see if I can get more inspired to write. I'll hunt for the ghosts of Voltaire or Janet Flanner. Planning for this day in Paris is taking up as much attention as the trip to Sicily. This is a trip to Sicily and Paris is just a side trip. Oh well, there are no rules. I knowwhat I am going to do in Sicily, see the places I didn't get to and revisit the places that I have been to before. I have 10 days to do all that but to squeeze Paris into one day takes more planning.
I read in a guidebook of the Odeon area in the 6eme, an old neighborhood-cobblestone streets, old shops and cafes. There is the very exclusive department store, 'au bon marche'. The hotel I picked is near Pont Neuf, the very ornate bridge over the Seine, one of the many bridges that link the right and left bank. I want to eat French yogurt again. I love French yogurt. Can you imagine someone is actually excited about French yoghurt? I am not a yogurt fan, not in the US anyway but I love French yogurt.
It was last year, in Nice, that I fell in love with French yoghurt. I wanted muesli for breakfast and was asked by the waitress if I wanted it with milk or yogurt. I said, yogurt, I've never eaten my cereal with yoghurt before. Live dangerously, right? It tasted so wonderful. I tried to replicate it at home, it tasted horrid. Heck, the yogurt tastes bad here. Imagine being excited about eating yogurt in France. The French and European experience is just not reproducible in the USA. A vacation in Hawaii or Mexico is not the same a vacation in Europe. Of course, in Europe, there's no one to pamper us, in fact, they can't tolerate ignorant Americans; but I still love it and will continue to return to Europe. It'll be my fifth visit to Paris.

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