Chez Soi

Adventures of a Year Abroad

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That One Crazy Newspaper Guy

Ok, we got here and we are jet lagged and barely able to function. So we are in the middle of eating at a decently quiet restaurant, when suddenly this random guy bursts in and walks around trying to sell newspapers. Thinking it was just a not-so-often occurrence that just happened, we waved it off. But the next day, we see the same guy in a different restaraunt, then today in the street when we saw him jumping in other eating situations and offering what he was giving. So when you are thinking of going to Paris, make sure you don’t live close to the Crazy Newspaper Guy.

(for help, we are in the sixth arr.)

Do I smell Freesias?


Do I smell Freesias?

We landed yesterday at about noon local time, then took the RER B into central Paris, switching at the LesHalles station to Metro 4. We wish we had a picture of how ridiculously crowded it was (on a Sunday?) but we were too focused on just getting on the train with each other, and our luggage.

After getting to the hotel near St. Suplice and dropping off luggage, we head out into town to grab some lunch and see how long we could last before conking out. Kiddo got Entrecote for lunch (big surprise, right?) and I was able to order a salad even though it wasn’t on the menu because the waiter spoke beautiful English.

We walked to the river near Quai des Grand Augustin, and then stopped by Rue de Buci in the St Germain des Pres area, and picked up some burgundy tulips and yellow Freesias for our room. I think we lasted till 4 p.m. but I can’t say fersure since I was the first to be counting sheep.

90 days and Holy **it.

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90 days and Holy **it.

Yesterday, we agreed with a tenant to lease the house starting July 1. I imagine that if I were still living in the area, I’d be friends with her. She’s Australian (from Brisbane) who now lives in Connecticut. Facebook just hired her and she seems savvy and yet down to earth. Curt hustled and got the property management contract in place all in a day. But it was our original real estate agent who sold us this house, Carol Jean, who gets most credit for helping it come together.

The one surprise thing we agreed to (besides the dog!) is to put our stuff into storage. I imagine friends now coming over to eye our furniture. Or, for us to just gift stuff to live in different homes until we return. All this time to organize furniture for a particular space, and now… time to dismantle it all.

When Neri (Kiddo’s aunt) was staying with us last week, I told her she should look around the house in case there’s anything she wants, and the only thing she wanted was our 60-dollars-a-stem champagne flutes. (Nice taste, girlfriend!) Those took me 10 years of looking to find them so I was not so generous as I might have wished myself to be. I might just ship them with us to Paris. Cause I imagine there might be champagne there. 😉

Paris! (Will that ever get tiring to say I wonder?) Oh my gooooodness, this is getting real.

And, woke up this morning with the tremendous clarity that it’s April 1, which means we’re now on a 90 day lease on life to get out of dodge, and to another country. (ANOTHER COUNTRY!)

Okay, deep breath.

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Home Need Not Be A Place

I must have read this piece a year or so ago, and still refer others to it. It’s by a fellow HBR writer, Gianpiero Petriglieri (an Italian born, French living, etc guy)…

Yet home need not always be a place. It can be a territory, a relationship, a craft, a way of expression. Home is an experience of belonging, a feeling of being whole and known, sometimes too close for comfort. It’s those attachments that liberate us more than they constrain. As the expression suggests, home is where we are from — the place where we begin to be.


Kiddo’s question the other day prompted me to find it again. I was born in one place and yet live in another. I’ve lost a sense of my roots. Home is no longer a place to me, but where my loved ones are. The very intimate loved ones I live with, the kids that live away from us but always in our hearts, where our dear friends are (Bainbridge, etc)…