Entries in orsay museum (1)


Old friends and new cities

A new town can suddenly feel familiar once you have your first opportunity to show old friends around.

This week, two important people are here visiting: Sonal, one of my oldest friends, and Karen, my aunt. Although I've been to Paris on previous trips with both of these ladies, it's been a healthy exercise introducing them to the city I am getting to know as a resident. And I know more than I think I do: how to get to the Louvre, what to say-ish to waiter, which butter to buy at the grocer to try and stash home on the plane. They are insights I am starting to feel proud of, and these women are the right audience on which test out my new knowledge. They're supportive and encouraging and positive; I am free to just try with them cheerleading me on.

There is also a small sigh of relief that comes with having them here. There are instant shortcuts in coversations, inside jokes, and immediate understandings when I need to take time away to tackle various work assignments. (Much to my chagrin, I'm not the one on vacation in Paris, you know?) With them, just like that, home is here. As she would in New York, Sonal texts me at the end of the day from her hotel room, and we gossip about Gwyneth Paltrow and How I Met Your Mother and then plan our next dinner. As we all walked through the Musée d'Orsay today, Karen and I reminisced about the many art exhibitions we've attended together over the years, and then caught up on family gossip. (I know. That seems like a lot of gossiping. But like I said...old friends and everything.)

It all frankly has me wondering where or what or who "home" really is. I don't have an answer right now. I don't. Yet I think by having this safety net of dear, know-you-better-than-you-ever-even-realized-it friends who are encouraging me to try just try, I could eventually be on the right track.

The Paris Plan - Achieved Today: Rules #1, 2, and 4.