January 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Parisian Youth No More

RIP student metro pass...
A lot of older people always say they “feel old” when surrounded by younger people, that suddenly life is put into perspective, that their remaining days seem markedly more numbered, that they remember their youth with longing and desire.

To me, that's bull.  I live next to a daycare and I never feel old.  Still, with the constant shouts of three-year olds while I’m trying to watch last night’s Downton Abbey, these younger people make me want to enforce a permanent nap time during the day, Gestapo style.  There's very little reminiscing going on when Maggie Smith is being muffled by joyous younglings.

Latent crotchety tendencies aside, I am hardly long in the tooth, though I recently did come face to face with the fact that, yes, indeed, I am aging.  Unfortunately it may make some people still feel old, but, ya know…

The enemy is one we all know well: the Paris metro.  The public transit system is increasingly expensive, with a ten-pack of tickets now costing over 13 euros.  I never had to worry about this because this youngster and eternal student could get the student metro pass, called the Imagine-R.  For about half the price of a regular Navigo pass (now at 34 euros a month), I had unlimited travel between zones 1 and 2.  And with a super-efficient system with few true faults, that’s what we call in France a steal.

So when renewing my pass this January, I sent off the required documents as I had in previous years, not thinking anything of it.  I waited for the pass to be activated, but these things took time, I thought.  Then a letter came in the mail.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Saved Me San Francisco

I'm into collages...
I’m not ashamed.  I’m 26 and until this year I had never visited California.  Sure I’d been from Florida to Montreal, all up and down the east coast, but the west, well, it never beckoned me.  Instead I looked east to the Old World and went back to my roots – well, sort of.  France was close enough to Italy, so it did the trick.

While Facebook friends were spending weekends in Vegas or doing Mardi Gras in New Orleans, I was traipsing across Europe with weekends in Berlin and ferrying along the Mediterranean.  Apples and oranges, really.

But for an East-Coaster living in Paris, SanFrancisco became something of a promised land. It wasn’t quite the land of milk and honey, but the coffee and Mexican food didn’t seem too shabby.  And Paris was bringing me down and I wanted sun, pronto.