September 18th was the original date we were supposed to head back to the States. We were thrilled when the Company decided to extend the trip by two weeks. Now we are so grateful because frankly we are just not ready to leave this beautiful place. I said to SJ this morning while we were having coffee that today was the original date we were supposed to fly home. He rolled his eyes and did the puffed-cheek blow out thing - a very French way of showing you have just avoided something unpleasant. My little Brit has become just a little bit French. Oh the horrors!
Two weeks from today we do in fact fly home. I am not quite ready to leave this place. I think it took me a while to figure out Paris which is strange because I have been here countless times and even lived in France before. But I think it took traveling to other parts of France and Europe for me to realize how much I love this city. Returning to Paris after a trip away started to feel like coming home for all four of us. Underneath a crusty and often rude exterior there is something inexplicably calm about this city. Its beauty is undeniable. The food is consistently divine. These are points about Paris you cannot argue. Yes, the people are often a struggle to deal with as I pointed out in this post, but I think with time one begins to at least understand what lies beneath the Parisian attitude.
I will leave you with this. The French are often accused of having a narcissistic, Napoleonistic attitude. It is a "French way or bust" kinda deal around here. Anything you can do the French can do better. You get my drift. Next time you find yourself not being able to communicate with a store clerk in your own language in your own country, you might begin to appreciate a country that insists on speaking the mother tongue and using national resources and products as often as possible. This is not to say that I am letting Parisian waiters off the hook but I certainly understand more of the French attitude than I used to.
Oh and that picture above gives some good advice. It is a bit self-serving as it was the bag our morning croissants came in but nonetheless- advice you should follow - at least while in France!
(translation: Eat cakes more often)