Thursday, May 15, 2014

An Ordinary Day

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's a good thing I'm keeping this blog mostly for myself. I'm not sure who would want to read it; it's pretty tame stuff. I am enjoying myself tremendously, just doing ordinary things on an ordinary day in France. And yet, to me, this is not the least bit ordinary. Even the mundane things like walking to the laundromat to dry a load of clothes gives me pleasure. It's just a little taste of how and where my daughter lives her life. When I am back at home, missing her, it helps to be able to picture Darcy going about her daily routine. When she mentions the places she has been, I can "see" them and it helps me feel closer, somehow. 

At a cafe near Halles Chatelet.

The morning started off much as usual, with the three of us waking up over coffee or hot chocolate. Darcy had to be out the door for work right away, but Mathieu and I had the opportunity to be a bit lazy. He wasn't due to leave for work until after lunch. And speaking of lunch, he treated me to pizza at L'Entracte, on Boulevard Alexandre Martin near his office. It was a bright, cheerful place and the service was friendly and prompt. As usual, the pizza was way more than I could eat at one sitting! I was pleased to discover that I would be allowed to take the leftovers with me. It was really quite good, and I always enjoy the chili-infused oil available for drizzling over the pizza. 

This was Mathieu's pizza. It was more photogenic than mine.

After lunch, I had intended to do some shopping, but didn't want to be walking around with a box of pizza. I took it back to the apartment before setting out again. I walked slowly, enjoying the gorgeous weather (yes, again!) and pausing to snap a few photos. On the way to the center of town, I was stopped by a young man holding a clipboard who wanted to interview me for a small, local newspaper. When I explained that I knew very little French, he switched to a tentative English and complimented me on my accent. The question of the week was, "Where do you see yourself in ten years?" I told him "Right here." and went on to explain why. He seemed quite satisfied by my answer, took my picture and went on his way. I wonder if it will be printed?

I wandered as far as CarreFour and had a great time selecting a door mat and a wheeled shopping cart for Darcy and Mathieu. I also picked up a can of WD40 for those squeaky hinges of theirs. When it was time for me to check out with my purchases, I managed fairly well using my limited French. I did discover later that I had actually asked the clerk "you cost this?" rather than "you cut this?" when I wanted her to undo the strapping around the cart. She very sweetly removed the strapping and unfolded the cart so that I could stow my other purchases inside. 

Beautiful eggplant and fennel at the market.

Dinner that night was superb. Darcy sauteed several different kinds of vegetables, such as onion, mushroom, carrot, red bell pepper and probably some I am forgetting. She served this over a thick, toasted slab of rustic chestnut bread (made with apple and walnut) which was slathered with goat cheese. The whole thing was then topped with a thinly-sliced Italian ham. It was delicious and satisfying. For dessert, we had picked up some pastries at the bakery where the chestnut bread was purchased. Later, we watched a movie, but we were all tired and went to bed immediately after.

I may try making something like this at home.
It was simple and delightful!
 (I snapped this photo before the ham was placed on top.)

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