'Erwann! What did i tell you! Check the text message that i just got while i was taking off my shoes!' is the exact translation of what i said a few minutes ago, giggling and waving my Blackberry towards my flatmate. I hopped back to my room and pulled a pen from my bag to write these few lines, threw away my second shoe while doing so and suddenly fell down on my chair as the thought of my exhausting day came back to my mind.
I usually am looking forward to my 'appointments' with Fernando and it seems that today i am going to have to look backwards if i want to write something interesting, if i want to write anything at all!
I'll have to wait until tomorrow, because it has been an extraordinarily long ordinary day and i am now so exhausted that i don't think i could even go to the Starbucks (two minutes from here, maximum) and get myself a coffee.
Fernando suggested the idea of a surprise time for the building of The Bridge today and i knew that his text message (the 'signal') could arrive any time in the afternoon, evening or night. Two solutions then: making sure i would be doing something thrilling when it would arrive, or just let things happen and have the most average Saturday ever.
You start to know me now, and i like to let things happen. A lot.
My alarm was set at 7:3o today, and as i had climbed up to my bed at 4:3o, maybe five, i was a bit 'à côté de mes pompes' when i emptied my first coffee-and-cinnamon (1) mug. I then had a shower, got dressed, grabbed my bag and left the flat to meet a friend for her birthday. I knew that i would not get any message so early in the day but thought it would be very funny to be caught playing Mikado with mini-sticks (painted toothpicks in fact) on a low table, in a Starbucks. Louise-Marie and i (oh Lord! She is going to kill me if i call her Louise-hyphen-Marie, she prefers 'Louma' you see... but at least, i'll know if she is on The Bridge with us that way), Louise-hyphen-Marie and i, then, are 'Starbucks-pals'. From time to time, i go and pick her up at the North-Station when she comes back from Brussels where she's been living for a few months now, and on the way we stop and have a coffee and a little chat. Or we do it the other way, meet in front of the Starbucks, have coffee (2), a chat and head for the station, like we did yesterday.
As we both are huge Doctor Who fans, when i saw a pair of the red and blue 3D cardboard glasses The Doctor wears in the last two episodes of Series 2, i bought them because i knew she would not hesitate to wear them in public even if it meant she would have to look momentarily stupid. And she did wear them. My friends are great.
At 1o:3o, i dropped Louise-hyphen-Marie in her train and the Bridge-Maker inside me told me that i had no right to go home now, because Fernando could wake up in the middle of the night and text me straight away (funny how time-stupid you become when you're waiting for something!), so i decided to head towards my friends' pasta restaurant near St-Lazare Station. I walked, because i would not have fancied taking a picture in the Metro or have to squeeze my Moleskine against a window while dozens of passengers were staring. The air was fresh, the sunbeams very gentle and a Saturday walk in Paris is always nice as long as you avoid the frantic shoppers.
One hour later, i arrived in front of Samuel and Emmanuel's restaurant where i helped myself with a strong expresso (3) and a Kinder Surprise Egg (no collectible Smurf in it, but a great spinning-top with hypnotic paper wings). My friend and collegue from the Hotel Marc was there too, his forehead burning mostly because of a flu and a little bit because he didn't know where to go for his holidays. When i left, a blue neon lamp purchased in the shop across the road under my arm, he still didn't know where he would go but as we had been talking about Morocco and Tunisia, he was more determined than ever to leave, no matter how ill he was.
I could not keep that huge neon tube with me all day long, so i decided to go home and prayed all the way Fernando would not text me. It was still quite early for him so i told myself that i would even be allowed a coffee (4) and a second shower (i needed to wash my hair). I was laughing and swearing at the same time with shampoo all over my face, trying to imagine what it would be like for my reputation if i had to write something at that very moment. Fortunately, Fernando was probably still asleep. My flatmate was there, so i asked him if he would fancy a restaurant in my company later.
3:3o, i left the flat once more and went for a walk. St Lazare Station once again, La Madeleine, Le Louvre, Châtelet, Notre-Dame (please, please, now Fernando!), Saint-Michel, L'Abbaye de Cluny (now, now!), Les Jardins du Luxembourg, Odéon, Châtelet, Le Louvre (oh no, here, here, now, please!), Le Jardin des Tuileries, Starbucks (5), L'Opéra Garnier, St Lazare, Home.
7:oo, back home and dead! but Erwann and i would be leaving soon for a little walk and a nice meal somewhere so i had to wake up and prepared myself a coffee (6), i ate some chocolate (no time for chocolate) and we left. We live in such a nice Arrondissement! There are so many narrow streets, so calm that you could easily imagine that you're not in Paris but in some small town... And so many restaurants! Pizza? No. Lebanese? Not tonight. Mmmh, let's -randomly- try that one: 'Tea Folies', place Gustave Toudouze (who the hell Gustave Toudouze is, we have no idea). 'Random' is always a good choice: stone walls, appetizing smell, tantalizing vegetables on the clients' plates... Everything looks healthy and that's good for me, because you might have guessed with the repetitive occurrences of 'coffe', and the apparition of 'Kinder Surprise Eggs' and chocolate (though dark) that i don't often have healthy food! (quick: pictures, just in case Fernando texts me while i'm eating, so that i don't have to be impolite!)
A glass of squeezed lime and a plate of delicious vegetables later (salmon for the gentleman), and at the great despair of my shoes, we left the restaurant for a digestive walk.
As we passed by one of the splendid little churches of Paris, place St Estienne d'Orves (please, please, please now!), i took a last picture, starting to think that it would be very difficult for me to find the energy to write anything when the Hour would come, but it did not matter: how could it! I had done and seen more than i would have if we had chosen a specific time.
Erwann and i stopped in a Starbucks on the way back, where i had a...hot chocolate, and arrived home at 1o:o2 PM. Exactly.
So...sorry Fernando for having been such a lazy young lady when you texted me... i should have accepted Axelle's request to join her and have a late last drink (don't mention coffee in front of me, ever again!) but thank you for this great long and nicely-exhausting 'average Saturday' in your company!
(see? i've had these co***es at last!)