My first stop, en route to Montmartre was Le Menhir. The woman in the below photo is Eva, the proprietor. Eva and I discussed politics. All in French. I may have inadvertently agreed to some positions with which I do not in fact agree, but only because I was supporting her great ire and agitation communicated through tone, rather than words. Pray for me.
We agreed that banks are cochons, and that the future appears bleak. Eva is, as one might guess, a staunch supporter of the yellow vests. Honestly, I am surprised she did not gift me one on my way out.
Before I left, she asked me if I was part Chinese. This question is of no surprise to those of you who have followed my travels because it is one which I am asked quite often while abroad. I don’t fucking get it, though will admit to that time I was in Hong Kong and confused every man for my father.
As I was leaving, Hillary walked in. I know it was Hillary because Eva was happy to greet her by name, and had her order ready without Hillary having to say a word. Definitely my kind of neighbourhood haunt.
After leaving Eva, I made my way upwards to La Basilique du Sacré Coeur, and was lucky enough to arrive in time for a service. The nuns were, as we already know, in hijab. Habit. Hijab. Show me the difference and I’ll show you an Islamophobe. I stayed for the duration, before lighting a candle and reading Al-Fatiha quietly. Everywhere is His house. Inside of brick, outside of it.
The Bascilica is beautiful. Last I was here was 6 or 7 years ago. I was on a work trip and a gentleman took me out for dinner in the area. Best photo from my trip – he was standing at the top of a staircase and I captured his back across the city lights. Best food from my trip – duck had that night which melted before I could place it in my mouth. [No romance ensued; he remains a lovely friend who checks in on me now and again. (Hurrah for gentle and respectful fellas.)]
Winding my way through Montmartre, I found a tiny little place of magic called Le Poulbot (3, Rue Poulbot), which must be added to anyone’s list of places to visit in this neighbourhood. It is gorgeous, and itty bitty.
After a far too decadent lunch, I walked home to diminish the junk that will eventually make its way to my trunk if not careful. (Note: am a great fan of junk, both in my trunk and in yours. Junk is great.)
Paris is really a stunning city, even with its freezing cold humidity that sinks deep into your bones. This sort of beauty translates onto the audience in a very odd way – I want to buy all of the beauty products and wear layers of shawls, and hats and high-heeled boots to reflect my surroundings. There is a feel of decadence here in the normal everyday spaces. All of which are lit up with white lights, and white lights make everything prettier. City of Lights, indeed.
My day was filled with favourites, but one of the best? I FOUND A WORKING CAROUSEL!! Since arriving, I have come across three, none of which were working. At Louvre-Tuileries however, not the case. The men inside were listening to some kind of football match, and I asked if they would let me ride, though no one else was present. They did. I was so excited. I want a carousel in my yard; it makes everything better.
The ride was far less sinister than this photo makes it appear. Promise.
Today, I am grateful for:
1. Having the money and the time to travel.
2. The health of my parents.
3. The chemist who introduced us to crème caramel. Merci ❤