I often imagine myself back in Paris. I don’t mean the lockdown version. I mean the Paris where one can flâner without attestation papers. Strolling the Covid-free, virtual city with our guide Herbert was a real treat. My tour group visited le musée du Louvre, le Palais-Royal, les Jardins du Trocadéro, and le Moulin Rouge to name a few sights. Herbert is not a typical guide. He and his colleagues teach their guests about French culture and challenge them to think deeply about the value of their social interactions. Since I’ve learned French from a French person, I’m versed in this topic. In fact, I find it refreshing to acknowledge someone with a “bonjour” or “bonsoir” at the beginning of every conversation. I often greet my English-speaking friends with these very words. They’ve come to accept my French soul.
One thing I learned from Herbert: how to plan the perfect Parisian picnic. You’ll recall that dining outside was one of my summer goals. Well, Herbert gave me a bit of insider knowledge to mull over. I’ll be an expert at hosting meals outside by spring 2021. I enjoyed A fabulous day in Paris with a Parisian so much that I’d like to repeat it. I’ll have to come up with an excuse to book a private group—perhaps a birthday. I’ve even suggested it to my work colleagues as a team building exercise. But, let me not get ahead of myself; I’m making crêpes next.
Works Sighted: A rainy night at the Louvre (December 2013)