We are settling in so nicely here in Paris that I almost don't feel as if I'm away. Obviously I don't have my apartment and my things, but I do have Paris, and that turns out to have been mine all along.
I am surprised at how easily I fell back into the rhythm of daily life here and accepted all the little differences that occur to distinguish life here from life in California.
I know, too, that if I stay long enough I will find the daily annoyances that used to drive me crazy and will, again. But for now, I am reveling in it. Someone forces me off the sidewalk? Quelle suprise! No bakery open in the 17th for blocks and blocks? Of course, it's August. It helps that I do not have to work, nor navigate my way to and from anywhere on a regular basis. I can simply enjoy the city on my terms, and I have been doing that.
Earlier in the week we went to the Parc Monceau so Paul could run. It was my first time there, even though I'd known of it forever. But it's not in "my" neighborhood, so I never really had cause to visit. It's lovely there, and I was surprised by all the hustle and bustle. We were there late morning, around 11 I'd guess, and there had to be 30 joggers out, crowding the path around the park. I felt like I'd stumbled into a race.
There were kids visiting, too, from whatever daycare/daycamp/dayschool. I love watching little kids on excursions here. They hold hands in pairs or trios and have name tags pinned to their shirts. Then they snake around on their way to getting where they're going (in this case, it was the duck pond.)
I can't -- and won't -- compare living here to living in Long Beach. It's not a fair comparison as each has its own charms. While I'd love a local park in Long Beach where there are no homeless people taking up all the benches, I'd also love a beach in Paris that wasn't man-made and planted along the Seine.
You take what you can get wherever you are, I think. And right now, I'm taking all I can from Paris.