This is it, mes amis. My last week in Paris. This time around, anyway.
Just as I believe fate and the chocolate gods conspired to bring me here almost two years ago, I know I will be back. Whether it’s visiting for semiannual holidays, coming for months at a time, or, one day, moving back to Paris again, this city is under my skin and in my blood. There’s no shaking it.
So what am I taking home with me?
Friends who have lived abroad assure me it could take months to figure this out, but, inevitably, I will discover this experience changed me in ways I don’t realize or can’t fathom now. I know this is true. While I’m still deciphering and articulating what those “life and character” changes will be, I can look back on the past nearly two years and reflect on a gazillion memories, photos and blog posts (!). I definitely hit some highs and lows, experiencing acute bliss and bitter loneliness. I made beautiful friends, some of whom are lifers. And, for now, I’m looking around at a treasure trove of tangible and intangible, practical and frivolous things, to remind me of my Great Parisian Adventure.
• A good 6-8 pounds (sigh)
• A killer portfolio (merci, Louis)
• At least two pairs of kickass shoes, though I’m generally disappointed by my French fashion finds
• A book contract (I hope you can stay with me until March 2012, when it’s published!)
• A pretty collection of chocolate and macaron boxes
• Some great new art
• Passport stamps to Italy, Portugal, Uganda and England
• A few new recipes and kitchen skills
• Adoration for some unexpected tastes: duck, sardines, burrata, Lucques olives and Speculoos
• Some French slang
• A heart, both heavy and buoyant