If I haven't said this before, I should say it. And if I have, it bears repeating. I am awful at blogging. I am ashamed at how little I've written since I've been living in Paris over the last 7 months. I have no excuse except for laziness. But as my time in Europe is drawing to an end, I am feeling sentimental and feel like writing.
I have since moved in and out of my little Parisian 'palace' by Voltaire. In the end, I became comfortable with living on my own, although given the choice I much prefer living with others. Nevertheless, it was a necessary experience for me to have and I feel more grown up for sticking it out. For 5 months, those 17 m2, were all mine. And though I may have cursed my small living quarters, that apartment was my little nest in a big city, and even housed many visiting friends and family. Packing up my things, I didn't feel sad or nostalgic to let it go (I guess I wasn't there long enough to), just grateful that I had had it.
Currently, I'm in Frankfurt, staying with an old friend of my mum, who is graciously putting me up for the next two weeks. Unfortunately, today is very cold and wet, and I've decided to forgo sightseeing in the rain. How unadventurous of me. Instead, I am curled up in a comfy chair, typing away on her daughter's beautiful MacBook Pro (Note: MUST get one the moment I can afford it). I want to dedicate the next several entries to memories and experiences that I have neglected to write about over the past several months. It would be impossible to write them all down, and in the detail I would like to, but I want to try to store a few of them while they are still relatively fresh in my mind. It'll be a work in progress, but I wan't to post it as I go along instead of just saving it as a draft forever.
I'll never forget how annoyed I was waking up to loud knocking on my apartment door. Thinking it was the Jehovah's Witnesses that hadn't left me alone the week before, I ignored it. When I finally got out of bed to see why it wouldn't stop, there he was, staring at me through the peephole, three days earlier than expected. I had been sick, lonely and depressed in the week before his visit. I hadn't showered, or cleaned, or done much of anything. My thought process:, "Am I dreaming? How long have I been sleeping? What day is it? He can't really be here! I haven't cleaned the apartment or showered yet!"
The next three weeks were incredible. Not a fan of the typical French breakfasts (he doesn't like ANYTHING sweet) we had our share of bacon and eggs made on my little hot plate almost every morning. We had Valentine's Day, fresh coffee, the rugged coast of Paimpol, red wine, croissants, train rides, car rentals, more coffee, free heineken, cheese, family and fun in London, English breakfasts, Guinness, Lahksa at the Dawsons, more wine, dinner at the Mbalea's, Versailles, a very cold football match, rain, sun, and full moons, and then a very tearful goodbye (on my part).
The Trini feast:
I was lucky enough to make a group of friends in Paris that love eating as much as I do. And I must say that I really enjoyed the dinner parties we had together. On this particular occasion, Paul (my friend from Trinidad) was going to throw us a Trinidadian meal. I remember agreeing to meet up with him and Laura to help grocery shop. Little did I know that this would turn into a two day affair. I met up with Paul, Kate and Laura R., and we shopped at Tang Freres' in Chinatown for at least an hour before setting up to cook at Laura G's apartment because it was the only one big enough and with an oven. We chopped, and grated, washed, peeled, boiled, baked and sauteed for hours under Paul's intruction, only taking ONE much needed tea break before we completely lost all sanity. And I enjoyed every minute of it. Around midnight we had finished preparing everything we could and went home to bed. The next day was spent fussing about the finishing touches, with every one on hand helping out with something or other. At one point there must have been at least 10 people in the kitchen at once, working on something. In the end, we had around 16 people, from all around the world, munching on the most delicious selection of traditional Trini food. We filled our bellies until we couldn't eat any more, and somehow there was still food left over. Such a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Okay, taking a break for the moment, but more to come later.