Journals from Paris – part two

Friday – September 23, 2016. 11:23 a.m. Paris, France

I just arrived at my cousin’s apartment here in Paris. I nodded hello, and went into the next room as Caroline is trying to sleep whenever Juliette is. They have a lovely little apartment in the fifteenth arrondissement. I commute back each day about 30-45 min. by bus to help her. It is my third day here, and I always have something to write about.


My morning bus ride was interessant. I get on near the Comedie Francaise (the oldest theatre in Paris) and ride right between the Louvre and the Tuileries. I have begun to recognize store fronts as we drive by (some of which I will have to stop at!). It is over an hour walk between where I stay and Caroline’s house though, but maybe I’ll do it one of these days. I brought good walking shoes for a reason!


As I rode today, the bus stopped and an elderly woman, still spry for her age, got on. She walked towards the seat next to me. We exchanged smiles, and she sat down. As we rode on, I could tell she was in a hurry. She would huff when the bus stopped or when it would take a long time.

As the bus started to move from a stop, she grumbled loudly to the driver in french about something. I surmised she was telling him it was taking too long. A minute passed, and a light turned red. The driver got up from his seat, leaned out, and called back to the woman with an angry voice. They launched into a tirade of back and forth french. Here I was sitting in a bus watching this go down not knowing a word that they were saying! I supposed the driver was letting her know that she was most welcome to walk. Eventually, the driver had to move on and things settled back to normal.

Several stops later the older lady got off the bus. My eyes followed her as she stepped off and hurried away. Turning back, my eyes met the lady standing near me. We exchanged a smile. The bus drove on.

No matter the city or country, there are always similar people and similar behavior. It was natural to see someone get upset because she was in a hurry, as it was natural to exchange smiles with a complete stranger in a foreign country when you share an experience.


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