8:00 AM → 8:00 PM. Twelve hours, right?
It’s actually 21 hours, given the nine-hour time difference between Paris and Portland. Twenty-one hours, and it never got dark.
This is our last Sunday in Paris, and it is magnificent. It happens to be May 1st, when people are buying and exchanging little bouquets of muguets des bois (Lilies of the Valley, pictured above), a lovely old tradition. It is also Labor Day here, a celebration of workers with a bit of a socialist tinge, so more people than usual have the day off. On top of all that, it has been sunny all day and the temperature is well into the 60s.
The last time I saw the Avenue des Champs-Élysées (maybe 30 years ago), it was lined with stores that were terrifying to the average tourist. Designer boutiques, purveyors of Rolexes, Tiffany, and Cartier, all in little polished box stores with no excess of stock visible, attended by lean chic Parisiennes wearing dark suits, dark hose, and needle heels, plus that particular Parisian frown that signals that you’re in the wrong rodeo, cowboy.
“How IS the country?” asked my friend Patricia after opening the door to her teeny tiny tony Paris flat.
I allowed how it was just fine.
“Je DETESTE la campagne!” she announced firmly, indicating that she was not about to come to Martizay to return my visit anytime soon.