I am grateful for BK Algerian pastries that fill up the box quickly and the woman won't even tell you which ones are best, she just says, "they're all good" and they are (especially the dreamy lemon one you can see with the silvered sugar balls on top and the gooey ones that you think will be too honey-ish and never are). I am grateful for buttery crisp pan au chocolat from the Au Levain du Marais (28 Beaumarchais location). I am completely grateful for Thanksgiving Day 2007 which leaves 6 macarons in front of me from Pierre Herme: truffe blance & noisette, huile d'olive & vanille, rose, plentitude (chocolat and caramel), infinitement vanille, and caramel a la fleur de sel.
I am thankful that I can walk across the Seine with the evening sun setting, albeit at 5pm, and reflecting into buildings and Notre Dame. I am thankful that I can speak enough French to secure 6 macarons or a Tazo Chai at Starbucks or even a new set of plates for our first dinner party at the vaissellerie. I am thankful to continue on to level A2.2 at Alliance Francaise, and for hearing stories of a woman from Columbia who met her husband online and rendezvous-ed in Cuba and another who never knew her father until he got the internet and found her in 1999, when the first thing he searched for was her.
I am grateful for the stories of people new to me, for having the time for a long cup of lao-zhu green tea or Harmutty black in the morning and the leisure to write for an hour after that. I am grateful that the New Yorker delivers to Paris and that Ploughshares does too. Even more so, I am grateful to the American Library in Paris for having a bevy of cookbooks familiar and new to me (despite the 125 euros I had to shell out to join and deposit).
For the years I spent living in a country where transit and postal workers don't strike, I am grateful. For my dear pen pal Emily who keeps writing me despite the fact I am not receiving mail, I am grateful. For packages coming from California with tea and yarn and more tea, I am grateful in advance.
I am thankful for new friends who have Thanksgiving dinners that include making construction paper turkeys and other new friends who will extend Thanksgiving to December. I am thankful to have the time to soak beans overnight and leave Persian rice to develop the tadiq with only two of us to fight over the coriander-specked golden pieces. I am thankful to have friends in Sicily and Guatemala who do online writing groups with me, for pen-palships of postcards and Skype calls from Brazil, and good old emails that go on endlessly about pastries and bureaucracy. I'm grateful too to be writing this while listening to new songs on an old guitar and sweet lyrics about love and loss and proper dreams from the handsomest man I know behind me.