Tuesday, September 9, 2008
On the road again
Willie Nelson is singing in my head as I sit waiting nervously until it's time to leave for the airport. I thought it was great to take an evening flight, sleep on the way and arrive in time for a light dinner and an appropriately timed collapse into bed. I forgot about how antsy I get before leaving on a trip.
Usually this means a restless night, early wake-up alarm and to the airport in a sleep-befogged haze. Quick and dirty. This time it means waking up from a restless sleep alright, but then what do I do with myself until mid-afternoon? Go out for breakfast. Read the paper. Finish the few items still on the to-do list. Think about how to get the kinks out of my neck before a 12 hours flight sets them in stone.
We're going to stay in a new apartment this time. New to us I mean, though we have visited it once. It's a rule not to rent any place sight unseen. We've seen too many apartments that look fine on the web and only show their real werewolf personality when you meet them in person.
This one is on rue du Temple, very well located about halfway between rue Montorgeuil, the familiar neighborhood we've stayed in three times in the last few years, and the Marais. We've spent a lot of time wandering this area and I'm sure once we get there we'll feel right at home. But right now it's sort of amorphous in my recollection and I'm walking around it in my head to the accompaniment of Willie's twang.
I know the number 20 bus makes a left turn just there, at the Square du Temple, to go up to Place de la République. I know there are lots of wholesale jewelry shops in the neighborhood, real and costume, with signs saying "vente en gros" to discourage casual retail shoppers. I know that the Marché des Enfants Rouges is just down the street and that there's a cheap flower stand just inside, opposite the antique postcard seller. I know that there's a tiny hidden Chinatown down the street in the other direction, toward Arts et Métiers, with a noodle shop installed on the street level of an ancient half-timbered building.
I guess I know where I'm going. It's waiting to get there that's the problem.