Daily life in Paris

The last few days have been less touristy than usual.  Jim’s conference has gotten underway, and he is preoccupied with that.  Also, the weather has been rainy and chilly – not the best for wandering around gardens and monuments.  On Tuesday morning, I was feeling a little rough around the edges, so we got a late start out of the apartment.  In fact, I cooked us lunch, which turned out quite nice.

Cooking in Paris

The best part was the far-out stove-top in the apartment.  It’s a Whirlpool, and the controls are all built into the glass top.  You just push on the glass where the buttons are.  It’s incredibly cool, and I want one!

Whirlpool glass stove-top

Whirlpool glass stove-top with flat controls

I don’t think there are a lot of ovens in Europe.  They do use a lot of electricity, but I notice that I cook most all my meals on the stove-top anyway.  There is a microwave in the apartment that we haven’t used, and there is a very small dishwasher and a nice under-the-counter refrigerator.  It is a highly functional kitchen for how small it is.

Later in the day, Jim had to attend to some business, so I window-shopped a bit.  I may actually be tired of shoe shopping.  Get me to a doctor!  I was on my own for dinner and unfortunately picked the wrong place to eat.  I remember now that I didn’t like the food much in Paris.  I ended up at a very mediocre restaurant sitting near two American men having a terribly boring conversation.  I’ve definitely had better meals eaten alone.

Yesterday, Jim had to be at the conference by 9:00 a.m.  I worked on a blog entry and did some other business online.  I decided to dress un-touristy today, so I put on a skirt, tights (lots of people wear tights here) and my Eccos.  Then I walked down to the dry-cleaners with a big bag of Jim’s clothes and barely managed to communicate with the attendants what I needed done with them.  It had taken a while to find a dry-cleaner on Google maps because I had to use the French word (presser).  Duh!  Then I wandered further and found a lovely clothing store with some delightful treasures.  I picked up a fashionable scarf so I can finally feel at one with being in Paris.  Everyone, male and female, wears a fashionable scarf here.  With my tights and scarf, I actually felt like I belonged here.  (Now if I just had the nerve to use their bike rental program – or, more to the point, bicycle on these roads – I would be a bona fide local.)

Bicycle sharing in Paris

I walked further and found a copy shop, which Jim had been looking for.  After about $50 in text messages and a few hours (during which I had a mediocre lunch), I got 4 advertisements printed in very large format for about $50 each.  The quality was impressive, as was the fact that they printed them while I waited.  They rolled them up and taped plastic bags on them so I could deliver them without harm.  I made my way through the Metro to the conference hotel and helped Jim attach the posters to the walls of his booth.

We then made a quick stop back at the apartment and met one of his colleagues out for dinner.  We all had meat.  Well, mine was a salmon steak.  The food was good, and his colleague was very interesting and entertaining.  Our go-to dinner plan here seems to be Rue St. Severin.  It’s a lively few blocks hidden between major streets and is bustling with restaurants and food vendors.

Despite the fact that I didn’t see any sights, it was a fun day of “normal” life running errands in Paris.  I enjoyed getting to know my neighborhood a bit better and seeing how everyday life would be in this city.

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