Yesterday, the women of the expat wives club I helped organize met at Angelina's to chat over divine hot chocolate and quiche. The famous Angelina's, located near the Louvre (but, more precisely, across from the Jardin des Tuileries), is a lavishly decorated tea room that serves the best hot chocolate in the world, according to many of its frequent visitors. "Le chocolat Africain" is nothing like Nestle, or even Ghiradelli, hot chocolate. It tastes like a melted gourmet chocolate bar, and it's served with lovely whipped cream on the side. I'm glad eight of us were able to show up to share stories about living in Paris and to share information valuable in making life easier here. Of course, when you get eight ladies together, you're going to hear some husband complaints, too. It's interesting to be able to have a yardstick to measure your husband against, and I think John is way ahead (lucky me).
I took the metro over to Angelina's and had a strange encounter with a man who was probably in his late 60's. He was eyeing me before I boarded the train, and when I sat down, he sat down next to me, giving me hardly any breathing room. When we reached my stop, I stood up quickly to move past him towards the opening doors. I thought I had cleared him, but his foot somehow got in the way and I bumped up against it. He said, "pardon," and grabbed my waist with one hand as if to prevent me from falling, but I wasn't about to fall. I don't like to stereotype, but here are some observations. French men look, but usually don't touch. I've found by experience that it's often the Italians who are touchy-feely. The Middle Eastern men are the least reserved verbally and some will ask you for your number even after you've told them that you're married and have a kid! I still feel very safe moving about Paris despite the unwanted advances. I don't feel any danger, only disgust sometimes.
I have lost touch with some of my dear friends after many moves over the years. If you want to get in touch with me, post a comment and leave your e-mail address (I think you will have to register as a blog user, but it's easy to do). If I know you, I will most likely respond. If I don't know you, I'll think about it.
I know it's April Fool's Day today, but everything in my journal is true today. Have a good one!