Au Revoir

I don’t know how this could happen but the suitcase that I brought to Paris is no longer big enough for all my things. I didn’t do a lot of shopping but I did buy a few books, a couple pairs of little black flats, some gifts that I will not describe because my friends might be reading this but let’s just say they are smaller than a shoe box. Oh yes, and a sweater for my daughter. And I forgot about the four pounds of coffee for e-husband (and boyfriend) who immediately missed the Parisian coffee when he returned home to the U.S.. My suitcase won’t zip so I walked a block to a row of souvenir shops and bought a Paris duffle bag with the Eiffel Tower stamped on it for $20.

It is rainy and overcast today, I’m walking across the square near the Grand Palais carrying my red umbrella with black polka dots. The wind is blowing slightly and it feels a little like fall. There is melancholy in the air. The leaves on the trees are turning and I’m not sure if it is because of the water shortage or if it is because fall is coming. I walk the long way home because this will be my last stroll through Paris for now, the last walk along the Seine and down Rue St. Honore that has been my neighborhood for the past 25 days.

After packing my two bags, checking out of the apartment with the rental agent (I had to pay for a broken wine glass and for the electricity I used) I say adieu to my little apartment across from the Louvre. I have become my true self in Paris—I have sat at cafes, strolled through parks, visited museums, learned the language (un petite peu) sipped wine, purchased little black flats, baked bread, ridden bikes to the Eiffel Tower and eaten the most amazing food on the planet. I will never be the same.

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There is never any ending to Paris, and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other, … We always returned to it … Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it.  ~Ernest Hemingway

2 comments to Au Revoir

  • Tracy

    Bon Voyage, Darla! I have loved following your blog–and we may have to come up with an occasion to wear black flats prior to an occasion to wear bike shoes!

  • Vanessa

    Hi, Darla,
    I have been to Paris twice, in 2000 and again in 2004. You are right: it was life-changing. I have never been the same. I hope to go back one day. I am a former journalist who just received my master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan. As such, I am genuinely interested in my fellow man, and our commonalities.
    I loved your blog, and just wanted to let you know. Hopefully, one day I can join you on one of your writing retreats!