We're nearing the end of this visit and I have to admit we're tired. We do so much here, trying to see our friends as much as possible in our limited time, to see parts of the city we're not familiar with and to wander around neighborhoods that we love, to visit new exhibitions in favorite museums and galleries, to eat in new restaurants as well as revisiting old favorites.
More and more I realize that a month is not nearly enough time to feel at home here. What I mean by "at home" is slowing down enough to spend a couple of days in a row not doing anything in particular, not arranging to see anyone for dinner, a drink, a walk, not acting as if the time here will come to an end soon. What I mean is acting as we do in our full-time home: doing some marketing, reading the paper and cruising the internet, going to the dry cleaner, making dinner, exercising, reading a book. Sure we make plans, see friends, have dinner plans, but not every day, and sometimes not even every week.
It's with that goal in mind, feeling "at home", that we've been planning for many years to live in Paris for an extended period of time beginning in 2009, maybe as long as a year, but certainly several months, to try to understand what it would be like to live here rather than visit. We had planned to make our first extended visit next spring, for two months, and again in the fall for as long a period as we could manage by then.
But those plans have changed a bit and now it seems unlikely we'll be back until next fall at the earliest, and in a way that's okay. Our lives will be changing next year and it's probably a good idea to try out that new life at home for a while before taking it on the road; that's what they do with Broadway shows, isn't it?