Monday, April 28, 2008

Paris is always a good idea…

April 14th, 2008

It’s been nearly 5 years since the first time I set foot in the Paris city limits and that trip taught me that when your current living situation looks bleak, Paris is always a good place to recharge.

I had already decided to go visit James and Leigh for their birthdays when Huong had given me the bad news about the hut. She had decided to leave for good, but wasn’t quite sure of her heading. Being that I’m scheduled to meet Juice and Karina in Pisa on May 15th, I’ve decided to camp out in Paris for the next 6 weeks and learn French. I’ve been couchsurfing between 3 different apartments since arriving mainly because I have an intense fondness for showers.

Leigh had graciously offered to let me stay at his place while he was on tour, but had warned me about the less than luxurious amenities: servant quarters in the attic with the toilet in a closet down the hall, faucet in a hallway, no heat, no kitchen, and up a dizzying 8 flights of stairs. The attic was made up of narrow hallways lined with multiple doors, some of which had tenants and others that were simply storage compartments for the tenants that were fortunate enough to live in the main part of the building. I rummaged around in one of the rooms in the far end of the attic and found a broken mirror. Voila! I now had a makeshift vanity – nevermind it was in the hallway by some ancient mops.

It reminded me a little of my old Georgetown loft, gritty and a bit dorm-like. “So…,” I asked, after Leigh had given me the grand tour, “where is the shower?”

“Yeah…um, I haven’t been able to find one yet.”

Gulp. I suddenly realize that “camping” is a very appropriate term for my stay in Paris. “What do you do?” I ask.

“Well, I go to a friend’s house, sometimes Vero & James’, or I go swimming.”

Time to find a swim cap, I guess.