Tuesday, January 1, 2013
All signs point to allez
Above the clouds on the way back from Kansas City a couple of weeks ago.
Happy new year. Welcome 2013.
Believe it or not, and I don't quite believe it, I'm thinking seriously about going to Paris for my 60th. It's ridiculously extravagant. I live low on the food chain; it is rather insane to even consider this idea, but I am, I really am.
The idea is as compelling as it is irrational. I would rent a tiny apartment (they all are) with a kitchen so I could indulge in the spiritual experience of buying and cooking French food. Grocery shopping is one of my favorite things, but in Paris it is a transcendent experience. The last time I was there, in the early 2000s, my aunt sent me out to buy a few things at an épicerie around the corner from her apartment. It was one of the best parts of my visit.
I know, I am so weird.
I have no interest in rushing all over the city to tourist destinations. What I want to do is ... no drum roll needed ... walk around and take pictures. I want to sit in cafes and listen to people speaking French, I want to connect with that ancient, earthy culture. I'd like to eat some shrimp with their heads still intact, drink wine, oh and drink coffee. Coffee is another transcendent Parisian experience.
If possible, I mean, if I can find it, I would like to visit my aunt's grave, after which I would pack my things and get back on the airplane, home to DC. Is it crazy? Is this urge of mine an early-old-age crisis similar to a mid-life crisis? You tell me.
I did find a RT airfare that is no more money than it would cost to visit my sister in Oregon. So far I have not had the nerve to click the "buy ticket" button on the Air France website. But I did find my passport.
There are so many other things I could be thinking about.
Turning sixty is huge, good lord. Comments on my last post from others my age confirm that this birthday is a serious rite of passage, not just for me. I have a very short bucket list of places I would like to visit before I die. I hate traveling, as a rule. But I would really like to see Paris again.
So what am I waiting for? Age 70? 80? It feels like now or never, but I am the dramatic type, hence I am going to think this through just a little longer before making the commitment.
I have to decide tomorrow, because I need to renew my passport and if I'm going I need to study, find a place to stay, figure out how to get from the airport and such. Every time I think about this possible trip, I smile widely, inadvertently. When I imagine being there, a nice chill runs up and down my spine. The body never lies. I really want to go. But ...
Oui ou non? I'm going to sleep on it. Morning is always more clever than evening.