Today I am reminded that once long ago, I visited France for the first time. I had taken a hovercraft from London to Calais, been terribly and embarrassingly seasick, and then had bundled myself into a train for Paris. on the train, a man who claimed he was an architect offered me a place to stay in his home, which I laughingly refused. I gratefully took some station cake offered by a trolly ( France! Delicious, perfect pound cake on a trolley pushed by an affable woman between the seats!)
The woman seated next to me wondered how I would manage to travel in Paris. I had not thought of it, and assumed I would take a cab. Non, no, she exclaimed, handing me two metro tickets, and a list of directions on how to find my hotel.
The next day, I’d find the arc de triumph, cafe de flore, meet friends, and have adventures. I’d lunch with Madam Gallimard, visit Chartres, get fined by the Metro Police. I would realize that a crepe citron purchased on the street was more tasty and comforting than the lentil pilaf at a Left Bank veg restaurant. I’d fall in love with the city, but that’s another story.
I returned to Paris in 2016, but now I wonder when I’ll get back. Several dozen tulip bulbs needed to be planted. Maybe in the spring, I can pretend my garden is a fraction of the Jardin du Luxembourg… good to have a dream, anyway.