Friday, November 12, 2010
Living the Life
We spend a lot more time at home than we used to, because it feels like home. Last year we spent six months in an apartment (remember 'le Chateau'?) that never felt quite like that. It was furnished for formal parties rather than sprawling on the couch with a book. The sofa was unsprawlable and instead of a comfortable dining table there was a grand piano. We don't play but we do eat.
This year the cozy garret we're in is wonderfully sprawlable and we love spending time at the table in the glass-enclosed kitchen. Sometimes we're lucky enough to have interesting skies to watch, and when they turn gray and heavy we can sit over a cup of coffee and read with the rain hitting the glass overhead.
But it seems to me it's more than just having a more comfortable place to hang our chapeaux. We've come to feel more like we live in Paris and when you live somewhere you aren't always visiting its attractions. You take advantage of that comfy couch and spend your days reading, cooking in that great kitchen, marketing in the local Monoprix rather than crossing town to the "typical" street market, doing lots of laundry in the tiny washer, going to the movies in the afternoon without feeling you're wasting time better spent absorbing sights and cultural offerings.
Since we're no longer working we fill our days with leisure activities, classes, etc. and so we do see a lot of museums and visit interesting neighborhoods, but the sense of "ohmigod, we're in Paris!" has moderated. And that's good, because this was always about how it would feel to live here, not how it would feel to have an extended vacation. And it feels good.
Of course it's still glorious to get off a bus and suddenly see the Eiffel Tower lit up overhead, or look upriver when crossing the Seine and see those views you spent years dreaming about. That feels even better.