Last days in Paris

It’s a bit alarming to realise that I’m leaving for Armenia the day after tomorrow. Thus I have been doing my best to be a better tourist and see a few more of the key sites.

I had an excellent walk through Belleville on Friday, and met S for lunch in Little India; I went to the Porte de Vanves flea market on Saturday morning, followed by a pleasurable wander through the local street market that was set up in Place de Breteuil, right at the base of the building of which the garret flat is at the top (I bought fresh roasted potatoes and some lasagne for my lunch); Saturday evening was interesting as we went to a Democrats fundraiser – but I’ll write about that separately.

Sunday I attempted to get to Bercy village but got a bit sidetracked along the Promenade Plante which is a gorgeous walking track along a disused viaduct that I thought might take me towards Bercy… but as it turned out I walked in totally the wrong direction, towards Bois de Vincennes, (Vincennes Woods) – which is almost off the Lonely Planet map. (Was a bit unimpressed with the Lonely Planet directions actually). Fortunately a passer-by helped me work out where I was. He was an interesting chap – he told me about a trip he’d made to Antarctica to set up a geo-tracking system at the French base there.

By the time I had got myself back on the right track – literally – the skies had once again opened and I was getting wet wet wet. It all started to feel too hard, and I eventually gave up and took myself back to CP’s apartment, for some rest, lunch, and clarinet practise. In fact it was nice to let myself off the hook in that way. Tourism can be quite draining.

Sunday night we all ate together – CP, his mother, David and me. CP made various roasted things, I made little toasts with avocado and lime, and David brought beautiful little cakes. After dinner CP turned to me and said, “Shall we play for them some?” It never occurs to me that people might like to hear me play. What a nice thing to be able to share with friends! So we played the Khachaturian, and the Milhaud, and then I played the melody from Oblivion by Piazzolla which I had been arranging for our quartet that afternoon.

After the music we played a board game called Masterpiece, which involved chance, luck, bluff and characterisation. So we all had fun with that – accents, characters, cheating and indignance in loud voices. David won. I thought I was losing the whole time but ended up coming second.

Sunday night I stayed in the beautiful garret again. David was there too, but unfortunately the pauvre was ill during the night with a horrible gastro attack. We had planned to go to another flea market this morning, but he was too unwell, so instead he marked various places on my map and gave me instructions for a wonderful walking tour of the Paris that has furnished and decorated his garret. So that’s what I did today, and I will write about that separately too, and add photos.


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