Paris Week! Yes, I went to Paris on the train for six nights and seven days (two travel days). On Monday, October 21, 2019, I got on the TGV High Speed Train to Paris at Gare Nice Ville. My tickets were First Class because I wanted all the bells and whistles that First Class provided. I am not an experienced traveller AT ALL, much less in Europe. So, I was very nervous about all of it. Actually, I felt something akin to terror!! Haha! And, somehow, I got six days of clothes in a tiny overnight bag. Needless to say, I had nothing except black jeans and black t-shirts (plus black jacket, dark scarf, tiny purse, and Asics on my feet.) WOW! Amazing. I felt I looked terrible, but I didn’t care. I also had my cane for safety.
At some point, I relaxed. People were wonderful, helping me right and left. So, now, rather than give you a day by day itinerary, I will cut to the chase. I wanted a change and to see if I could live in Paris. I had been thinking about moving but I did not know much of anything about Paris. Visiting there and living there are very different. I knew that I needed to get better at living my life (since Steve’s death 3 years ago). Would Paris work? A friend helped me afford the trip. So, I went.
I did not push myself. I wandered through most days and ate two meals out every day – Table for One. I stayed in the 14th Arrondissement in a comfortable AirBnb Studio for One. I walked most places. Otherwise, I called Uber. Or I took a taxi. I did not want to get on a bus or do the steps at the Metro. I went to the grocery store, the Jardin de Luxembourg, to a pharmacie, to a small market, to meet friends (new friends), to the Shakespeare Book Store. It was all on the left bank. I like it best for me. Lots of reasons why – for another day.
I had two appointments (for apartments to rent) set up, but one rented before I got there and the other did not work for me. But, long story short – while I was there, my priorities shifted. I came alive. I had energy. I felt excited. I made lists. The “old me” returned. I remember how I felt when I passed the California Bar Exam and moved back to LA. I felt young and alive and excited about the future. No matter that I was 62, I felt 32! I cried a LOT while I was there, but I was SOOOO happy that I felt alive again. I KNEW it was for me.
But, how? How would I get there? My left knee hurt. My back hurt. I had problems with my Dossier for landlords. I got tired easily. I knew some people but who could I get to help me? And why would they help me? I was just an old woman who needed help.
Guess what !!!!!! They did. Everyone I met helped me. People went out of their way to help me. The taxi driver when I arrived at the train station, helped me open the large front door with a special code to the building. People were wonderful. And, the best news of all, my friend from Nice – Margaret Keith, from Selma, Alabama – who mainly lives in Paris (48 years) and owns property in Paris and Nice, said I can rent one of her apartments in the Sixth Arrondissement – a small studio in a great area. Actually, she was planning to move into it herself, but she said I can rent it for a year to help me “get in town” and find a place that works for me. HELLO!!!! I am truly blessed. I will be moving February 1, 2020, if all goes as planned, because there are tenants in it until January 20, students at the Sorbonne!
All of this still makes me cry a lot. I am happy, sad, and exhausted from all of the emotion involved. Now, I have three months to downsize, make changes, and plan for the next chapter. First thing I did when I returned last Sunday, was to see a knee doctor and get the gel shots for the left knee. I need the shots to help me get to Paris.
Yes, there are a lot of problems involved. Yes, I will need new doctors, dentist, pharmacie, supermarkets, stores. Yes, the weather is cold and rainy. Yes, there are a lot of tourists. Yes, there is a lot of traffic. Yes, there are pickpockets. Yes, it is necessary to watch out!! Ok. I am up to the task! I feel ALIVE!!! I am no longer depressed and “waiting to die”. Plus, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck!! I lived in LA for 48 years!!!
There are pictures and lots more to this story, but that is enough for now. I made a movie, but I don’t think my readers watch them. Maybe I will post it in a separate Post – just the movie. But, this post lets you know that my Paris Week was a smash hit in all of its simplicity. My mantra is “simplify”. And, that is what I am doing – like it or not. And that is what I will do – simplify. Yes, I am simplifying. That is what one does when one is 82 and moving to Paris, France. Who knows what the future holds? But, that is the Plan, anyway. Stay tuned. …….