Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Found pre-blog journal entry (October 9, 2004)

12:14 am

Tried falling asleep with Maylin tonight, but as usual, whenever I put my head down, my private little monologue begins. I wish I could just automatically put my thoughts on paper or onto the computer as they come into my head, but instead, I have to get out of my cozy bed and rethink my thoughts and type them in one by one into the computer.

Well, I still have the dream of becoming a writer. And I will be a published writer someday. Now, I’m going to accumulate memories, thoughts, and feelings, and get them written down in some form or another for now, and then maybe come back to them later. I have several ideas for short essays. I will compile a longer list later.

- “Matteo” at the Jardin des Tuileries
- Watching people-watchers (e.g. watching man watching pretty lady)
- Art gallery owner gives me his number in metro
- Mastering the art of Parisian dog-walking
[copied from a sent e-mail: "I'm
getting used to this unspoken rule of Parisien
dog-owners. If you see another dog, take your dog
across the street or start going in the opposite
direction. Anything to avoid the other dog. It's
either they don't trust your dog, or they don't trust
theirs. And I think it's usually the latter. These
little nippy dogs are the worst. And their owners
aren't that great either."]
- Mastering the art of walking around Parisian dog poop
- Parisian mommies dressing up their daughters in the classic style (dress or skirt, sometimes without tights, in cold weather!)
- Parisian mommies assisting their daughters in relieving themselves in public parks
- Ou sont les toilettes? (or “Public toilets? not a priority for the Parisians”)
- Body odor (standing underneath it in an elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower and other experiences)

I need to remember to carry a little notebook so I can jot down my ideas anytime. Sometimes I see something really quirky or cool, and I think I’ll remember it for later. But guess what? I can’t remember.

Anyways, we’ve been living in France for over 6 months and I’m already feeling like a Parisian. It really helps that my language acquisition is coming along. The last few weeks have been really encouraging. I’m understanding phone calls, salespeople, etc. Sometimes I have to ask them to repeat, but I definitely get it by the second time. And I’m starting to have enough vocabulary and grammar to be able to communicate what I need. It’s so refreshing to not have to feel like a sweaty mess after every interaction in French. For almost 6 months, it was pretty nerve-racking for me having to speak up. Because I am a perfectionist. And with a limited vocabulary, there’s not much you can do, but fret, and sweat, and I could always feel my brow and the area above my upper lip get moist.

John’s been gone for 2 1/2 weeks, but will be back in a few days. Maylin and I have been doing pretty well, considering we have both been sick at different times with different illnesses. Today, we had a grand time! She is sooo good. We walked Leo in the morning as usual, and then went to McDonald’s for the first time in France and had a happy meal! She sat for over an hour in the high chair and ate her fries quietly but happily. Didn’t want anything else. Fries and water. So content. Then, we went to the park for awhile. It sits on an island in the middle of the big boulevard that crosses our street. That’s Boulevard Pereire. We went to the portion that has a kid-sized train. It had been closed for a few days for “neutralization.” I had no idea what that meant before, but I have a suspicion that that means they disinfected the area. Anyways, Maylin just loves trains, and loved commanding me to sit next her on these tiny seats on the train. She had her chocolate-dipped cookie snack on the train, and then we were ready to head home. We both konked out for almost 2 hours, and then it was time to walk Leo. She helped me hold his leash, which is always so adorable. But most of the time, she wanted me to hold her. I don’t blame her. How cozy is that?

In the evening, I was craving Vietnamese pho, but when Maylin and I got to our neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant, I noticed that they didn’t serve it on the menu. I was bitterly disappointed. I knew we’d find another restaurant, but I knew I had to give up my pho idea. We ended up eating Italian at San Remo on Place Pereire. Maylin was great for the hour and a half we were there. She said she wanted salad, so I ordered it but ended up having to eat it all myself. She wanted pasta, too, but she ate very little of it. It was a little on the peppery side. Maylin was impressed by the strawberry slices on the panna cotta, but she ended up just playing with the dessert. I ate most of it before she was able to turn the rest into a very unappetizing white and red mass. Thank goodness. She probably wouldn’t have made it through then entire dinner if I hadn’t brought her little toys. Crayons would’ve been a good idea, too.

Okay, this is a good place to stop. How refreshing to write everything so quickly! Don’t know if I can go back to longhand, though I do like the feel of a pen gliding across paper. But, I have become awfully impatient, ever since Maylin started sleeping less and less (after her newborn baby days) and I found I had little time to myself. So, I bid you farewell, journal. Until the next time.

12:55 am


Deidre said...

I carry a little notebook with me. Sometimes its really great to have around. But at odd times, its not. Like while I'm driving. I'm glad I have my phone with voice notes which I finally discovered a week ago. Yes!

Caroline Jou Armitage said...

I'm going to have to downsize on my notebook. I have a heavy hard-bound spiral journal that's really weighing down my usually already-heavy backpack. That phone feature sounds cool. You could talk to yourself and everyone will think you're talking to someone else!