[Author’s note: I really aim to ensure EatBoutique.com is focused on food all of the time, but so many of you emailed me to check up on me after my Paris posts. Your notes have pulled me through and I feel obligated to share an update. I sincerely hope this post doesn’t bug my foodie-focused readers. And thank you for all the support while I’m living in Paris, and always!]
If you’re following along, you know that February was a tough month for me.
I left snowy New England to live in Paris for three months. And, just my luck, Paris had its coldest winter in a long time. It was bitter, windy and damp. It was beau (beautiful) too, but very hard to notice when I was stuck inside with a runny nose, swollen tÃªte (head) and sore throat.
Exhausted immune system aside, I was also in a foreign land where I couldn’t speak the language. My few French classes proved helpful but not quite enough to help me get along. I started a new job, which, no matter how lovely the gig, always harbors its own sort of stress. And, I did all this on my own, without mon mari (my husband) and partner of ten years, who I’d left back in our even draftier New England farmhouse.
Then, something quite wonderful happened. About a week ago, the stiff cold air broke, easing my various ills. The temperature rose to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit (don’t ask me what that is in Celsius), thanks to a bright sun that appeared to be lighting up the entire Seine at least once a day (albeit for only 20 minutes or so, but a glorious 20 minutes). And life finally seemed lighter, more familiar, and more like home.
Slowly but most surely, I’m beginning to feel like I live in Paris. I’ve gone from saying “Yeah, I live in Paris” to “Holy cow! I LIVE IN PARIS!” There are some other signs too.
First, thanks to a dear colleague and with sincere apologies to my husband, I’ve fallen in love with my very own French docteur (doctor). He saw me on a moment’s notice last week. He invited me into his salon for a small talk before my exam. He prescribed me a few medications, as if he’d known me all my life, all the while almost spitting on my American doctor who forbids me even a wee bit of wine when I’m sick. And I know he’s my doctor because he told me precisely that as I walked out of his office, grabbing my hand in his, whispering in English but with his darling French accent, that he was now my personal French doctor, in case anyone asked.
Second, while I’ve come to respect the Paris metro system and can now maneuver my way most anywhere, my real accomplishment is the ease with which I now navigate the Paris bus system. I jump on and off on a whim, at any hour of the day, just so I can spend my travel time, my in-between time, staring at this gorgeous city. Sure, I have a day job and must abide by a programme (schedule), but the bus system hasn’t done me wrong yet. In fact, I’ve arrived early almost every time!
Certainly, one day, on that very day when I have to get across town for a last minute meeting, I fully expect the bus to disappoint, claiming some accident turned my 5-minute ride into 5 hours. But that will be the moment my love-love relationship becomes a love-hate relationship and those are the best sort, no? I’ll forgive and forget, and jump right back on just so I may continue to feel like I have my own personal chauffer.
Lastly, and perhaps best of all, I’ve found my own personal beauty institute in a sweet, eccentric woman on the side streets of St. Germain. Thanks to that same dear colleague, I’ve met the most painless esthetician on the planet and I never plan to let her go. My Boston-based esthetician is absolutely perfect as well, but there’s something about this heavenly beeswax that makes the unnatural process of an eyebrow wax seem so… natural. Think I can get a doctor’s note to get me to Paris for quarterly visits with her? Probably not from my American doctor…
Paris is becoming one of my most favorite cities on the planet too. I may be a tri-state girl through and through with a forever passion for New York City. I may also deeply miss my Boston home and my Boston-based husband. And I may always hold onto my private flings with San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Maine. There’s just something about Paris. I feel like a little piece of it, however tiny, finally belongs to me.
I know I’ll be sad to leave in the spring. But that’s when I’ll revisit my photos while sipping a glass of le vin rouge (the red wine) a little too early in the afternoon, smiling, all the while knowing that my French doctor would so approve.
Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic Studio. Follow Maggie Battista on Instagram.