I know it sounds smug and it is, but I don't know how many times I have been to Paris. 50? 60? More?
Enough that I am familiar with landmarks, streets.
When I visited clients in he 90s, I'd arrange appointments Friday and Monday and with a friend explored the museums, landmarks and streets during the weekend.
I've hopped on a train in Geneva to meet friends in the Latin Quarter for lunch and slept in my Swiss bed at night.
I've a friend who lives in Puteaux, which touches La Defense. I've spent time with her just staying in her flat and writing ala Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I began to know some of the merchants and had a taxi cab driver I rode with so often, he wanted his sister to make couscous for me. Time with this friend is always precious. Once upon a time we lived happily across the hall from each other in Geneva. Now we both have husbands but the pleasure is enhanced.
I've even gone to a Jim Haines night. These are famous enough to end up in novels about Paris.
My husband proposed in front of the Eiffel Tower -- I hate heights or he would have done it at the top.
Never have I taken Paris for granted. Despite greves (strikes--I
once joined an artist strike during a lunch break from a workshop) it is
still a city where every street has something to see and I've done as
much as possible over the years.This last trip this month included two missions.
One was to speak with a group of Expats about FATCA and my novel. We met at Joe Allen's. I'd been to the New York one in the 70s after a Salvation Army commissioning.
The second was a panel discussion with two other mystery writers at the American Library. I was in paradise among all those books and periodicals. The event was extremely well organized, the audience interested and it was a pleasure to share the table with others.
For a girl raised in Reading, MA with a mother who believed if you went more than two towns away you would fall of the edge of the earth, I still need to pinch myself that this is the life I am living now.
I didn't fall off the edge of the earth. I fell into happiness.