Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Guest post: Paris memories

Reader cher Isabel sent this evocative post about time she spent in Paris. She admits the post has less to do with adopting a French lifestyle, and more about living her life. I couldn't agree more.

cher Isabel writes:
“After college, I spent two years in Europe teaching English and one of those years was in Paris. On a my salary I wasn’t able to shop at boutique or even department stores, but I did shop at the Paris flea markets where I bought some of my favorite vintage jewelry. I still enjoy shopping flea markets for vintage pieces, and it always reminds me of my time in Paris.

Another thing I loved to do in Paris was spend time at my neighborhood café. For some reason the waiters never seemed to mind that I would sit for hours, drinking espresso and reading a book. Here at home I have a favorite neighborhood café where I still enjoy spending an afternoon reading and sipping coffee. And some days when I’m sitting outside and the weather is just right, I’ll catch a whiff of someone’s cigarette and in that moment I’m sitting in my Paris café.

And the baguettes! I haven’t found any bread that comes close to what I ate in France, but with European butter and jam, even a grocery store baguette reminds me of my Paris breakfasts.

Finally there are the flowers. I didn’t have a lot of francs back then to spend, but flowers were one luxury I could afford. A single bloom could brighten my room, and to this day—almost twelve years later— I always have fresh flowers in my house.

What did I take away from my time in Europe? More than I can say. I learned when you can’t buy a lot, you really appreciate the small, beautiful things that are available to enjoy everyday—fresh flowers, good bread, fresh air, free time.”

Tomorrow's post: Promenade partout


  1. Amen! The best things in Paris are not that expensive. And they are so memorable. I enjoyed reading this.

  2. Loved this post! The smell of cigarettes outdoors (where it is more dilute) always flashes me back to France. I haven't been back since the cigarette ban in France (or is it just Paris?), so my memories are free to remain intact! How lucky you were, Isabel, to live in Paris for a year.