Week 22 of the Philosopher Selfie // Europa Week Three!
Mon. June 23 / The longest, emptiest beach to take a twilight run
The last day in Lagos and I did something where I thought, “dammit, I wish that I’d been doing this every day!”. Late discoveries: so bittersweet. I have to be careful to emphasize the sweetness of the discovery and not the bitterness of lost potential…
Tues. June 24 / It’s never too late to redeem a wasted day.
At the end of a day do you ever think “Well, that was a wasted day”. I do this in a self-berating type of way – but I’m beginning to think this idea of a “wasted” day is a fallacy: it’s only wasted if you don’t learn something from that day. Which has more to do with your current self than your yesterday self. In other words, it’s never too late to redeem a wasted day. And self-reflection is a great excuse to sip something while sitting on a patio somewhere in the sunshine, thus redeeming at least two “wasted” days (i.e. yesterday’s and today’s). You’re welcome for making your entire life productive and useful from now on.
Wed. June 25 / First impressions of Paris
I’ve been to France – years ago, with my sister and mom – but never Paris. I remember my mother always telling us that Paris was “dirty, expensive and smelled like urine”. Well. She’s right on at least two of those counts but even so – I really like Paris. I don’t think it’s love yet, but my first impressions are of a feeling that I like this city very much.
I’m not sure what I would do if I lived here, but without a doubt this romantic city is still a very good place to live if you’re job is to read or write. Paris has the right climate, the right temperament and (just as important) the right history. I insisted that my friends call me “Hemingway” during our stay here.
Thurs. June 26 / The Americano
COCKTAIL LESSON OF THE DAY: If you order “an Americano” at Le Select in Montparnasse, Paris (an old haunt of Hemingway’s) you will NOT get an espresso of any sort. You will get a heady cocktail composed of Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda that will knock you out in a gruesome three sips.
So this is why Hemingway hung out here. And how Hemingway wrote. It explains everything.
Fri. June 27 / The freedom of a walking lady
Someone had told me that I shouldn’t smile at people while walking through Paris (Parisians apparently find it inauthentic to smile at strangers, we read somewhere) and it was, somehow, such a relief to just get to have a cold, ice queen face on all day. But then that got tiring too and I realized – oh croissant, I have a third option! Neutral. I’m gonna say it again because it’s worth repeating: neutral. As in, not trying to project anything or worry about how the strangers on the street around me are perceiving me. Getting to think my own thoughts! With my own authentic walking face! THE FREEDOM.
I think this is what it means to start becoming a really cool adult: realizing that you’ve always had the space to be yourself around you, you’ve just never been aware enough to own it.
Sat. June 28 / Revolt of the neck glands
The lymph nodes in my neck, like Napoleon, have become too big for their britches and are trying to TAKE OVER MY BODY. Woke up seriously sick and feverish. Moldy croissant of a day.
Sun. June 29 / Night fevers
Not like cool “disco fever” but waking up with your tank top soaking wet, both very hot and simultaneously chilled, not to mention that soggy-clothes-against-skin-too-long feeling. It feels exactly like hot yoga: in other words, the worst. Moldy vieux croûton de pain!