Saturday, July 11, 2009

The quiet American

I can’t put myself out there every day. I can only push myself so much. This week, I embraced by quiet American side.

It started Sunday night with the fourth movie I’ve seen in as many months. Kyoko and I went to see Whatever Works, and it was a reminder of how much I miss going to the movies and laughing. I love Woody Allen’s absurdity and neuroses. I can even overlook his stereotypes and predictable plots. He just cracks me up.

Hooked, I decided to go back to the movies on Monday night. I found another cute little theater (they’re all over the place), bought some gummies (they’re sold like penny candy at all the bodegas) and settled in for Sunshine Cleaning, a sweet little movie about some big feelings and themes.

Two mornings this week, I got up early to go jogging. I still haven’t found a yoga studio or gym here (okay, I haven’t really looked that hard). But the easy way to feel strong and in shape again, I figure, is to just do some basic exercising. Back to the 80s-in-America-style.

I met and had lunch with another American girl, who struggles with the occasional bout of homesickness and the consistent challenge of speaking French, but who’s ultimately smitten with Paris and the city’s lifestyle, food, characters and charm (Merci, Opal).

For the past three months, I’ve had French lessons with Josephine every Monday and Wednesday morning. But right now, I’m waiting for Ogilvy to approve more hours. I tried reading and doing French exercises on my own, but I have to admit, my French studies slid this week.

I didn’t drink (save for one glass of wine with Kyoko after Sunday night’s movie), I didn’t go out, I just read and wrote after work. And work I did—between the American work ethic and my French office hours, about 9-10 hours a day were eaten up by Louis Vuitton.

In spite of or because of, I’m not sure which, but by the end of the week, I was exhausted. Last night, I finished The Age of Innocence (what an ending!), went to bed at 11, and slept until 8:30 (not exactly fitfully thanks in part to the unfortunately-consistent rebel rousers who cruise my street between 3 and 5 a.m. and my insatiable cat who wants to be fed and/or pet 23 hours a day).

This morning, I was going to go jogging again before the big day of shopping I have planned for myself. But I got sucked into my American magazines. I polished off the March issue of Elle that I carried over with me, the May issue of Vogue that Alison brought me, and the June issue of O that Mel gave me.

Very quiet and sleepy, straddling two countries and cultures. This is who I am.

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