Our bum died. Being in the suburbs, we don’t have a lot of SDF, which is what they call Homeless in Paris. It stands for Sans domicile fixe. As in the Paris; the SDF stake claim to an area, and I wonder if another will take his place now that he is gone. Seemed to me to be great real estate; close to the Boulangerie Djemai Mabrouk where generous people would give him a baguette, and close to the market when he could buy beer.
He was always drunk and mumbling at passersby, and I tended to walk on the other side of the street to avoid conversation. I occasionally brought him leftovers from Gloria’s surplus and he had a mattress set up next to the building with all his possessions. It was not uncommon for him to be drunk at 10 in the morning and literally crawling on the street. I didn’t care for him, but he left me alone and didn’t really cause any problems, so it didn’t bother me to have him there. Never the less the ambulances came and despite making it thru the winter, he just wasn’t made to see the Spring.
Mortality isn’t usually an issue for me, but I can’t help to think a little more about it with my birthday approaching. Thankfully, Robyn and Frank will be here to celebrate. Claude accepted the new position at the Michelin Star restaurant where he will be the Lead Sommelier, and will have the weekend off to celebrate before he starts at Penati Al Baretto.
In reflecting on the past year, so much has happened. I complain when things take so long, but in actuality it has been hard to keep up with. My weekly endeavors to stay legal in France and become a member of society was rewarded when I was given my Carte de Sejour from the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII). Basically, it is a residency card witch I was excited to get; but really is not a big deal. I still will need to go and renew my visa and I assume OFII is not done with me as many of my school friends are still in various stages with the same office.
Of course, this victory was sweet and must keep me satisfied till my Carte d’Identite comes. It is now late and I have gone to Le Mairie to inquire as to its whereabouts. I was informed that the Elections have slowed things down and there are no problems foreseen with the application, meaning, I should receive it by the end of the week. Of course, they told me the same thing a week ago. Once I have the ID, there are several other steps that can take place to help in acclimatization.
In my never-ending pursuit to know Paris, Tyler and I had coffee in the Canals of St. Martin. The walk ended nearby with us observing a protest. Fete du Travail or Labor Day is celebrated on May Day. There is no work and public demonstrations is a tradtion.
Place de la République and Bastille are the areas that historically hold most demonstrations in Paris. They are peaceful, but the military is always present to be sure nothing gets out of hand. There was dancing and chanting and food and small muguets bouquets that Claude brought home for me.
Tyler and I always have a nice time together and it gives his “wife” time to study and us time to make jokes and be funny. I have developed a complex having always been a funny girl, in France, I’m just simple. I am rarely able to contribute much of importance to a conversation in French, therefore spending time with a native, is always fun. As usual, we did a debriefing on the legal steps we were in the middle of and end our times together with promises of shared documents to assist thru more bureaucratic nightmares we live.
New sites discovered in Paris are rewarded in a variety of ways. I have been stalking the street artist Invader I have taken to using an Ap he designed geared toward collecting photos of his street art totally over 2,000 worldwide.
I have always been the kind of girl to look up, and your rewarded for moving your eyes from the normal field of vision. I started noticing them the first week we got here and it took a couple months to find out the story behind the instillations.
This “looking up'” obsession I have is often something I have expressed thru my painting. When Dori was pregnant with Hannah, I painted clouds in her nursery walls. And with the sweet reminder of family always close in my heart and my eyes on the sky, I went home and painted.
In the final push to prep the house for our guests, I decided enough was enough and I went to the bathroom for a bonding experience. I felt we needed to do some team building, me and the WC. I removed the cabinet, taped it off and spent the next three days painting and cleaning to have a fresh new look to make me a bit happier in there.
It may not be canvas, but I am closer now than i have been. I was able to get the city to pick up the last bit of furniture we had from the previous tenants and we got a new tv for the living room. I was able to set up my aisle in the corner, and our home is as complete as it is going to be for a while now.
Gloria stopped by the other day and declared that I could understand everything she now. I assured her I do not, but she continued to compliment me by saying she could understand me more as well. I am not ignoring the left handed compliment, but again, I’m the “simple one” now a days, so i just smile and nod. Sometimes for good measure I shrug or make Pfoo sound with my lips. Defiantly a step up form “the silent one” in Eat love Pray months gone by.
We are coming up on our 8th month here and I struggle to see friends that have drifted a little as we develop our lives here. We went for a drink with Maeve and Joe, my Irish friends, and they shared the good news that their first child is on the way. Of course depending on her husbands work, they may return to Ireland this summer. Azer is busy in School and we have not been able to connect since her return from Istanbul. Marcos is on vacation with his husband and I will move into tour guide role.
I didn’t think it would take me this long to get settled, but I consider myself pretty lucky. It has become a home here. When i was in the 3rd grade, Mrs. Genevieve, my favorite teacher smiled so sweetly at me when i was able to answer the multiplication flash card for 8×3. We both shared a special moment when no other child had the correct number for her but me and i memorized each combination that came to 24 claiming it as my lucky number.
To this day, when I am contemplating a big decision, and the number appears, I know I am on the right track. In numerology and other references, it is a number to remind you to continue on your present path with passion and enthusiasm. Believe in yourself and your inner talents and abilities in order to find success and achieve your desires and aspirations. Trust that achieving your goals is within sight.
Im reminded by my wonderful mentors to manifest my future on those big days we share, like birthdays and New Years and as mine approaches, I don’t fear an end like our bum. I see much more ahead and eventually I may be funny in another language.