mardi 24 août 2010

Young McFleury had a farm, E I E I O

Saturday, August 21st 2o1o

12:25 GMT

I'm cheating.
We agreed on 3 GMT and i'm already here in my notebook, writing with a great delight the first lines of introduction to this summary of the second 'coffee' with Fernando. I can already foresee that the beverage won't be coffee once again. Not because i would not fancy a coffee, but because i really don't know where around here i could possibly find a bar that could provide me some.
The reason why i'm cheating is simply that i'm not convinced i might be able to pull notebook and pen out of my bag at 4 o'clock sharp for you see, i might be busy, as 4 o'clock is when they milk the cows here...

Where exactly is 'here'? For now, 'here' is a large carpet of grass, overgrown and dry on patches, right under my feet for instance, and i have to wave my legs in the air to avoid the disastrous effects of a spiky grass on my bare and impossibly fragile skin. Fortunately it's green and soft on other locations, just as the patch on which my arm is lying. And it smells so good for my tainted parisian nostrils that i could almost faint of joy.
Axelle is with me again, fast asleep, a lazy elbow threatening the water-filled bottle cap she was using for her watercolour drawing before unexpectedly joining Morpheus in his kingdom. The water is still clean but looks opaque just as the lake it was taken from. If you ask me, i'd call this a pond, but having grown up next to the largest european lake explains why a cute greenish puddle does not enter my eyes with the glorious label of 'lake' on top of it.

If you are attentive, you might have guessed that 'here' is not Paris.
Yes, i have to admit it, i'm cheating for that too. I would gladly write an apology and explain in twenty different ways and languages how sorry i am to take you with me in such deserted lands when you were expecting to discover the wonders of the unquiet parisian life. I really would. But right now, i have to wake Axelle up, because a herd of geese is heading towards us and i'm afraid she would die of a heart attack if she found herself awoken by a mad goose sticking its peak in one of her ears.

If i'm brave enough, i'll take a picture.

(Obviously, i am!)

It's 2 o'clock here and La Bergerie Nationale of Rambouillet is now opened. We are still alive thanks to a little boy called Arthur who took care of frightening the geese and cause them to retreat to the lake. Bless Tiny-King Arthur! i must leave you now but will come back later. I was promised goats. And i am very fond of goats.

3:3o p.m. GMT Cows milked.

Cheers Fernando! I'm absolutely positive you did not expect this one, draining a glass of fresh milk with your parisian friend! But i think: maybe you don't like milk? We know so little of one another. And yet, we share a blog, we share more actually than i do share with most of my friends! Odd.

7:3o p.m. GMT

Cuddly goats, pearly bunnies smaller than my palm, Chanel (the pig) and a blackcurrant and apple juice later, it's already time to leave. I should have bought one of these rabbits! We stop for a while on a bench in a park overviewing the Castle of Rambouillet, sigh a lot, take a few pictures, drink some more juice and reluctantly head for the station.

Exhausted but happy, with a bottle of cider that we intend to share later, Axelle and i are in the train taking us back to where we belong... but do we? Yes, we do... still... Maybe i didn't need to be sorry for taking you so far from Paris after all, because there has always been a point to all of this. Let me explain.
I live in a beautiful, amazing city people tend to fall in love with quite easily. The whole idea of this blog is precisely to show that there are no limits to the beauty of Paris. Absolutely none. Paris has a mystical charm of its own that makes dirt look like gold, misery look glamourous and turns the most common things into rare treasures, simply because Paris is not a city. It's an idea. A glittering happy one, but only an idea.
If you stay here for more than a month though, especially during the Summer (-a Winter in Paris is a whole different story you'll have to wait a few months to be told), the city will take over the idea and you'll quickly run out of air. The heat, noise and pollution, the sticky and sweaty touch of exhausted passengers crammed in the suburban network, their lack of patience and of manners, all these parameters will make you crave for a quick escape from time to time, unless you were born here and don't know anything about what it means to come from the countryside. In fact, if you want to love Paris with all your heart and soul, you have to leave it, so that the idea can come again and seduce your mind once more (it always succeeds in the end), so that you can forget the grey concrete, the heavy heat, the lack of air, so that the physical city will not overpower the myth.

If you feel like you can't stand the neverending motion anymore, remember Rambouillet, take a nap on the shores of a (pond-)lake and pay a visit to the goats on a sunny and cool day. If you follow my plan, you'll get closer than anyone else to understanding what it takes to live in Paris.

Being happy in Paris implies knowing its emergency exits.

See you next week, Fernando? (I'll make an effort and have a coffee for real this time...)

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