I can’t believe I am going to Paris

12 Jul

I told myself I would finally believe I am going to Parish when my passport arrived.

The passport arrived a week after I applied for it. I paid for expedited service and I got it. Thank you, U.S. Department of State.

That Hillary Clinton runs a tight ship.

So, I have this passport and I am still having a hard time believing I am going to Paris.

I have been reading travel books to prepare myself. There are a lot of travel books about Paris. It can be a little overwhelming.

To get myself further in the mood, I have watched movies. Paris Was a Woman, a documentary about the women who flocked to Paris between the World Wars–Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, and others; Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s time-shifting romantic comedy–the opening shots of Paris alone make the movie worthwhile; Les Chansons d’amour (Love Songs) which stars Louis Garrel.

The shots of Paris aren’t as compelling in this movie but, hey, Louis Garrel. OMG. Where has he been all my life?

I tried to watch Last Tango in Paris, but couldn’t get into it.

I first saw that movie when I was in college and remember it being a pretty depressing film. Seeing it so many years later, I was surprised how attractive Marlon Brando looked. When I first saw this movie, I thought he had lost his looks.
Still, I couldn’t watch very much of it, because it was so depressing. I didn’t even make it to the butter scene. If you don’t know the scene to which I am referring, suffice to say, it does not involve a croissant.  It is just as well I did not watch the whole movie. I had sort of hoped watching French films might help me pick up the language. With my luck, all I’d pickup would be the line when Maria Scheider asks Marlon Brando to sodomize her. What happens if I get nervous at the airport and blurt that out to some surly Customs Agent?  That could get real scary, real fast.

These movies did not make me believe I am going to Paris. As appealing as it is to imagine me in the same city as the Eiffel Tower and Louis Garrel, I am still having a hard time believing this is real.

So, I ordered up some Euros. Very pretty money. Exchange rate, not so pretty, but the currency is lovely. I’d better be going to Paris–what else am I going to do with this pretty money with the lousy exchange rate if I don’t spend it in Paris?

I have been getting tips from friends who have been to Paris. My friend Jeffrey revealed to me that when he was in his 20’s he carried a paperback copy of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast with him everywhere he went, as a talisman. This astounded me, because I have been doing the exact same thing ever since I knew I was going to Paris.  Clearly if I felt compelled to carry Hemingway’s memoir of his early life in Paris, I must be going to Paris. It got Jeffrey there, why not me?

Now it is my last work day before my trip. Tomorrow, I tidy up and pack. Saturday I get on the plane and, they tell me, eventually I’ll wind up in Paris.

I will believe it when I see it.

I can’t wait!

One Response to “I can’t believe I am going to Paris”

  1. Gay Groom July 12, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    “You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

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