Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Days 2.1 and 2.2

I thought it would be easier to use Week.Day numbers instead of counting to 35 or whatever it will be by the end of my sojourn!

Yesterday (2.1) was mainly a work day.  I ate some leftover baguette and plum jam, then went to the office.  I got a lot done, pausing only to pick up a prosciutto e formaggio panini from the little Italian takeout place across the street and eating it back at the apartment.  I managed to get my collaborator's code up and running, read several papers, get caught up on my email, and write a complete draft of my personal development plan.  (Ask me about that aspect of the ACE Fellows program sometime -- talk about a tough task to set for yourself!)

My plan of buying a rotisserie chicken was dashed when I realized that the boucher is closed on Sundays and Mondays.  So I just bought a dessert pastry, went back to the room to cool off, then went out to a local pizza place that I'd walked by a few times and looked good - Pizza Vesuvio, just off of boul St-Germain.  I had a pizza quattro stagione (ham, mozzarella, mushrooms, artichokes, and olives -- pits and all!) and a carafe of rosé (which I meant to be the little 25,cl carafe, but that is a quart-carafe and I ordered a demi-.  Oops).  The pizza was very yummy, and I ate the whole thing even though I really didn't mean to.

I struck up a nice little chat with an American woman sitting next to me who was having dinner with her 12-year-old daughter -- they were in town from Las Vegas and were very nice.  Those were the first Americans I've talked to since I've been here, which felt paradoxically normal and strange.

I hadn't slept well the night before, and unfortunately, last night wasn't much better.  Not sure what it is -- I thought I was finally adjusting to the time change but maybe not.  It was also pretty hot, and the apartment can get stuffy with the windows closed (and there's no way I can leave them open -- as it is, the street noise is pretty loud and part of the problem).  Anyway, I had really planned to get up and go running, but instead I slept until 9 or so and then didn't roll out of bed until nearly 10.  So much for best intentions.

I went to the café where I'd had a drink with Bruno the first night I was here, where the waiters were a bit brusque but I figured I'd give it another try.  I sat inside to try to be away from the cigarette smoke, but maybe I was too well hidden because nobody came to my table for 10-15 minutes.  Finally the water stopped by, and seemed nice enough, but seemed to smirk when I placed my order, or maybe I was just imagining it.  A café noisette and a croissant are perfectly normal things to order, right?  I'd read about it and it was on the menu, but the way he repeated noisette? back seemed snarky.  Then he brought the coffee but said they didn't had any croissants, and didn't offer an alternative, but finally I convinced him he could perhaps bring me some pain instead.  The noisette wasn't exactly what I was expecting - I thought it would be an espresso mixed with a little milk, like a macchiato (or that's what I'd read).  Instead, it was an espresso with a separate pitcher with a little milk -- and no room in the espresso cup to add any of the milk.  Weird.  So I did a sequential dilution, adding milk each time the espresso dropped by a third to a half, so it was like having many different drinks in a row. :-)  The bread was just a third of a baguette, toasted a bit and slathered with butter, with a pot of strawberry jam.  Very yummy, very French.  But there are a zillion other cafes, so I don't think I'll go there again.

Since I got to work so late, I decided to work for a while longer than I originally planned, and by the time I stopped for "lunch" it was around 2:30.  So instead of lunch, I thought a long walk and a gelato would be a good idea.  I went to the same gelato place I'd been to twice before -- I've decided I should try to taste all of their flavors before I leave.  Today was hazelnut (hey, another noisette in the same day!), café, and fruits de bois (mixed berries).  All completely delicious.

For dinner, I did finally obtain the elusive rotisserie chicken, and had some of that for dinner, along with another simple salad and some sauteed fingerling potatoes with garlic and chives.  I also picked up a lemon meringue tart for dessert.  Yum.

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