Do my friends in the US think I walk around all day bopping from Louvre to Eiffel Tower to a hidden chocolatier and thus think I don't have time to talk/read email/receive postcards? Do our new friends here think it's weird that they said 8:30pm and we rolled in at 900 in what I originally intended an attempt to be cool but soon resulted in a late arrival? Will the sun ever rise in Paris before 11am? Is it always gray in Paris 93% of the day? Did the guy at the market take me in for another beating or did he really think that the browned, mushy, mealy, squishy apples were for eating?
I listened to This American Life's "Americans in Paris" show for the first time since I've been here, and couldn't help but relate (= cry, I'll admit it) at the part where Ira Glass is amazed that David Sedaris' day is determined by going places where he feels more or less humiliated.
Saying c'est moi at H&M when you've had to leave some items with the attendant, pointing at an envelope at the stationary store and stumbling through an ummm... oui oui when really you want to say oh, I just need an envelope for the big card, thanks, not the post cards, asking vous-acceptez les cheques de restaurant? at the Pompidou Cafe and then having the guy answer in English, all of this adds up to empathy Ira, empathy - maybe you should move here for a few months?
And so, when the neuroses take up more space in your brain than the part that's curious about the books of Paris or Courbet's history or Germany: The Dark Years, and you find yourself talking back to NPR hosts, it's time for some comfort food. Lately, as I sit in my apartment worrying more than a junior high student on the first day of school, doing my part time job and scheduling an afternoon of events that doesn't have me ping-ponging between feeling shitty and shittier, I bake myself up an egg.
Fresh, French farm egg. Covered in 'bloom.' Creme underneath, egg on top, parmigiano-reggiano to top it off, baked for 12 minutes (thank you, dear Bittman). Butter up some fresh baguette and scoop it up and remember this is probably the kind of thing your friends back home are jealous of to begin with.