From the time our taxi driver pulled away from the curb at Charles De Gaulle airport until he made a sweeping U-turn in front of our apartment on rue Bertholet in the Latin Quarter, we'd been on the sidewalk four times. Not that I wasn't counting or saying a few prayers myself. Other cars, horns blaring to jar pedestrians out of the way, and motor bikes, buzzing through traffic like bumblebees on steroids, made several detours onto the sidewalks, too.
Traffic in Paris is not for the faint of heart. For one, there are no lines painted on most of the streets, or rues. I mean, really, why bother when no one cares what lane they're in? At one point yesterday, four cars braked sharply, their noses angled inward to vie for a certain spot. There we sat, hood to hood, eyes locked in challenge, horns blaring and hands gesturing to the "Parisian God of Traffic".
I think we both breathed a sigh of relief when we entered the apartment we'd rented online. All of the pictures were accurate. We're on the third floor American, second floor European, hidden behind the lower limbs of the tree. The elevator is two feet by two and a half feet, if one counts the tile on the floor. If we have no luggage, Calvin and I can both squeeze into it, face to face, buttons jabbing, breaths mingling and arms wrapping around each other. Kinda reminds me of our honeymoon, but we won't go there...
Our largest suitcase had to be wedged into the elevator while Calvin waited upstairs. I sat on the luggage and pulled my knees up to my chest, so the door could close. Ladies, I hadn't been in that position since giving childbirth forty-one years ago.
Here's our living room. By the books on the shelves in both the living room and bedroom, the owner is English speaking. He or she likes Stephen King and Danielle Steele and is an adventurous cook by the number of cookbooks displayed. We brought along copies of our books to leave as gifts. We'll be here for two weeks before traveling to Berlin to visit Calvin's son, Kelly. It's been slightly over two years since Kelly and his wife were in the States, so Calvin is eager to set eyes on him and spend hours catching up.
Until then, you'll find us wandering the streets of Paris with no destination in mind, stopping for a cup of whatever to watch humanity stream by. I'll be journaling my every impression, sight and smell of my second journey to the City of Light. I'll share more with you the next time around.
Visit Vonnie Davis at www.vonniedavis.com.