It’s raining today in Paris. I overpaid for a small room on Rue de la Victoire. I’m only upset because I know I could have found something better. C’est la vie. I took the train by myself which I’m most proud of. I walked 1.6 km to Hotel Mogador which took 22 minutes and wouldn’t have been a big deal if it wasn’t for the pouring rain and the two packed bags thrown over my poor right shoulder. I should’ve taken a taxi. But, when I arrived at my closet hotel I was glad I saved the money.
I walked out of the hotel and said à bientôt to the concierge and had no idea where to go. I walked towards the Seine toward the garden I had been to with the kids the day before. After walking aimlessly for a bit I settled at a place called Capri Saint-Honoré
I sat outside because they had heat lamps. It was already 2pm and I was hungry. I ordered a cappuccino obviously and a Cesar salad. I almost ordered pizza but need to stop eating like I’m on a forever vacation. It was a good salad anyway, and they served a full basket of bread with olive oil and balsamic and pepper all of which I barely touched but loved the aesthetic of. I started reading my book and eating and this older guy in his forties sat next to me. I figured we’d start talking eventually, he was sitting very close to me, and we did and it was pretty nice. He’s on a two and a half week long euro trip. Did some cool things in Iceland. I didn’t get any reading done and didn’t write at all and now it’s 4 o’clock, but if anything was to get in the way I’m glad it was a conversation. I’m glad it has something to do with people and their stories.
He ordered macaroons and we shared them and then asked if I wanted to join him to tour the opera house. If I had more time in Paris I probably would have but on a day like this – it’s snowing now – I just want to sit somewhere and write.
Now I’m at L’imperial on Rue de Rivoli right by the Tuileries Garden. I ordered a glass of Merlot because it’s the only glass of red wine I knew I could pronounce. It’s good though. I plan on being here for awhile. There’s a couple my age next to me and they are speaking English so I’m trying to eavesdrop. Maybe I will try the place Bo mentioned for dinner. I guess it depends on how much energy I have and how long the walk is.
Paige was supposed to meet me in Paris today but decided not to because the train tickets got pretty expensive. I thought for a minute I wouldn’t go into Paris on my own. The weather wasn’t looking good for walking (and it’s not) and I didn’t want to pay for my own place to stay when I could stay with the family an hour north. But, I knew I had to see the city. Even though my room sucks and I don’t really know what I’m doing it’s just nice to by myself.
This morning I went to the Arc de Triomphe which was full of tourists and two German guys took my photo (because I took theirs). Then they wanted to take a picture with me on their phone and on my phone and that was weird. Then at the crosswalk, a Pakistani man asked to take a selfie with me and that was even weirder. It reminded me of that time in McDonald’s in Mumbai. After the Arc de Triomphe I had breakfast at ____ and then I walked around the Eiffel Tower once more. Pretty. I went to a cafe nearby called ____ and I think it was my favorite of the whole trip. I sat outside by the heat lamps and it was so hot I kept rubbing the top of my head to make sure it wasn’t burning. I had a cappuccino and finished my book (all the light we cannot see) and I felt my brows furrow because the ending was so good and so sad and in one fell swoop the entire story came together in this wonderful way. I would read again.