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Monthly Archives: September 2007

First day in Paris and already a gentleman caller

The laptop was all hooked up, but the router wasn’t on. The proprietaire (landlord) called her computer expert friend Guilloume, who could come over after work. Many times during that first afternoon afternoon, Barb and I insisted we’d know the answers to details of our discussions if only we’d been able to Google them. From […]

10 things I noticed at the JFK gate bound for CDG

Sitting at the JFK airport gate waiting for the call to board for the flight to Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, I already noticed a change from America to France . . . . and beyond 1. A woman continuously rubbing her husband’s shaved head. 2. A pigeon walking then flying through the concourse.

10 things I noticed at the Salt Lake gate bound for JFK

I’m sitting at one of Delta’s C gates in a plastic chair at Salt Lake City’s airport, bound for JFK. I look at what people are doing, carrying, engaged in, and wearing at my gate.  1. Missionaries. The two women were dour and beaten-looking. The five men were excited and gregarious. Once we were on the C concourse, […]

One day to go, and ixnay to diamonds and gold

My hands and fingers will be working hard the next couple of days. Schlepping, hauling, lifting, shoving, adjusting, shoehorning, pulling, and unpacking will all take their toll on the cuticles. My nails are clipped Martha-Stewart, farm-wife, 1940s-movie-star, working-girl, waitress short. I’ll wear a cheap watch between my elbows and fingertips. No rings, no bracelets, nothing to get in the […]

2 days till I take the fifth

This is my fifth journey to Paris. I went in 1971 with my boyfriend who was escaping the VietNam draft. We flew into London from Los Angeles, and then got to Paris where we rented a fifth-floor, no-elevator, cold-water apartment with Turkish toilets. I was going to work as a maid. That plan lasted two weeks and […]

3 days to Paris, and I’m in a no-mistakes zone

There’s an uncomfortable window of vulnerability right before a big trip. A vulnerability that warns, “Don’t lose your credit card or get in a car accident. Don’t wrench your back. Don’t poke yourself in the eye. Don’t get sick. Don’t make mistakes.”

4 days to partly sunny and a high of 14 degrees

So here we go back to that funny centigrade business. For two months I’ll be adjusting to those scary low numbers, feeling like I’m back in Nome, Alaska, as I get used to seeing and hearing centigrade instead of fahrenheit temperatures.

5 days to go, and what a terrible time to go to Paris

I just bought travelers cheques to pay my Parisian rent. In five days, Madame Vier, my landlord, will be expecting me to sign them over to her for the rest of my first-month’s rent, the security deposit, and the last month’s rent. (I’ll also have to pay telephone and electricity charges.) With the dollar down to 72 cents to the […]

6 days out, and should I pack a jar of JIF?

A large jar of JIF crunchy peanut butter sits on my kitchen pantry shelf. Could this be the last sighting of my favorite sandwich spread until I return from Paris? Should I pack it with the dictionaries, scarves, and tennis shoes?

One week till JFK/KJFK to CDG/LFCDG

Airports throughout the world get an International Airport Transport Association (IATA)code: those three-letter codes you see as you make plane reservations and printed on your baggage tags.