I’m always confounded, confused, and amused about how I enter a metal container with fixed wings, sit down, eat dinner, sleep, eat breakfast and Voila! …..it’s 12 hours later and I descend from the jet into a different country and my only cultural transition is the French spoken by the flight attendants and the French labels on the packaged food. We took a cab into the city and I knew I had arrived in Paris when the mansard roofs became more dominant than the industrial areas and concrete suburbs. No other city looks like this, and no other people walk and talk into each other like the French do.
Quickly I remember to count one with a thumb up instead of an index finger, order water with or without gas, enter the lavabos or toilette with both men and women, girls going to the left, boys to the right and exiting to a sharedd sink, bread is served in a basket and broken on the table instead of a bread plate, and greetings are formal and expected: “Bonsoir Madame” (:Good Evening Madame“, as you enter the restaurant)
Walking in our neighborhood (6th Arrodisment) near St. Germain, le Pont Neuf (bridge from the Middle Ages that crosses the Seine River that runs through Paris), Le Sorbonne (a university that began about 1200 in the late Middle Ages), and Notre Dame Cathedral an example of classic Gothic architecture built in the 1300’s) requires me to remember how to navigate narrow European sidewalks filled with pedestrians, motorcycles.
Our apartment has a jetted shower, and I have the luxury of using it before I put my jet lagged body to bed. It is a perfect day! A jet brought me to the “City of Lights” and a jetted shower will soothe away what the metal container hath wrought and bring me a night of well earned sleep.