Sunday, June 19, 2011

Winding Down

Some things in life are eternal, like laundry and house-cleaning. Both feature prominently in this weekend's plans. Remember that post where I gushed on about how even such mundane chores as doing laundry could be a magical adventure in a new country? That might have been true back in March or April. Now, not so much. Public laundromats are boring the world over. Though at least I have things down here to the point that I know, after starting the wash cycle, I have time to go have coffee and an omelette complete at the restaurant on the corner, and get back right as it's ready to transfer the clothes to the drier. And yes, the omelette is always delicious, because this is France, where there is no such thing as a bad omelette. So I should quit whining already.

It's Sunday night, and the laundry and cleaning are now all done. Elisabeth, the apartment owner, came by this afternoon to do the inspection, which went fine, and we agreed on arrangements for my stay in the autumn.

A relatively quiet weekend, with a couple of highlights. On Friday, after class, three of my long-term classmates joined me for a farewell lunch at "Les Deux Canards", a very nice restaurant just around the corner from school.

As a starter, I had the delicious grapefruit salad:

It's more or less de rigueur to have duck at the Deux Canards:

On a previous visit, I had the canard a l'orange:

The bill, which was very reasonable, was brought by a little brass duck:

It was an excellent lunch, and a very nice way to mark the end of my 14 weeks of classes.

Last night, I had dinner in the neighborhood with a friend, France Mentre, who is a professor of biostatistics here in Paris. France very kindly agreed to store a box of books for me during the summer, which simplifies my trip home quite a bit. The least I could do was buy her dinner. We went to a restaurant that specializes in the cuisine of Normandy, and had a fine time, alternating between French and English, and engaging in scurrilous gossip about assorted professional colleagues. (You know you've made some decent progress when you can gossip freely in French!)

After dinner tonight I went out and roamed around, making it all the way to Montmartre, bagging three new Space Invaders in the process. The invaders were good, but my favorite photo from tonight's stroll was this little guy:

I had forgotten how large a deposit I had made to reserve the apartment before coming to Paris, so was delighted when Elisabeth handed me an envelope with a big wad of cash. We agreed to leave her half the initial deposit in anticipation of my stay in the autumn, but I still got a big chunk of money back. So maybe some of my readers will get little Paris gifties after all. Tomorrow is set aside for last-minute shopping. Don't get your hopes up too high, though - Paris is fairly pricey.

Besides which, won't the joy of seeing me again in the flesh be reward enough for you?

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