IntrepidWoman's Journey

. . . and then it rained.

Posted on: July 12, 2010

I woke up to thunderous applause in the wee hours, and now it is raining and getting cooler in our apartment, a nice reprieve from the extreme heat of the last few days. Jack and Lyndsey are still sleeping; David and I are having coffee and enjoying the view as he sits with his iPad and I with my Mac.

This is a most charming apartment. There is a very complete little kitchen, separate toilet, separate shower room with a washer/dryer, a large bedroom and a living room with a table and chairs by the window overlooking the intersecting streets below. Upstairs is a tiny bedroom with a skylight and it is only big enough for a bed, nice! I sleep on the pull-out couch which is very comfortable and Jack has a trundle mattress next to my bed in the living room as he wants to sleep with Nana.

We have seen no others in the building but there is a plaque for an orthodontist on one of the doors. Our walk-up is circular and winding to the third floor which was not so charming when we first arrived with all our luggage.  I am not looking forward to dragging it back down, but will be physically able to do it better after all our exercise this week!

The train tracks run across the way, up in the air, but there is not much noise from trains. The sounds come from the people. They are loud and animated and delightful. There is an energy and a positive vibe here that is unmistakable. I remember it was very crowded in China when we travelled there and the people were aggressive and non-smiling as they pushed their way through the streets, fighting for personal space, but here, they seem to have a purpose but are enjoying the moment.

Everyone is drawn to Jack as he radiates such an inquiring innocence. Yesterday he was sitting and playing outside a shop with a little toy, and a shop worker came out to talk to him. He looked up at her quizzically as she poured out questions in French. When she looked at me and said, “English?” I confirmed and then she spoke in some halting sentences to him. He is quite shy with people. Most people here have some English and it is not hard to communicate with them. Lyndsey has learned an impressive amount of French while planning this trip and is leading us through many conversations!

I could not be here with 3 more sweet people! This is a holiday that I will often reminisce about when I am back to the hamster wheel of life in a few weeks. I have such wonderful memories of Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong with Carmen, Jim, Dean and Kaoru in 2004. How lucky to be able to add France with David, Lyndsey and Jack to my memories!

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