My first day: Escargots and beaujolais

“Expectations are the great killers of good travel. I try to leave them at home.”

The words of my friend (and expert traveler) Chris echoed in my head this afternoon as I sat on the plane, waiting to take off.

I’ve daydreamed about the adventures that await me in Paris. Will this trip develop a theme, as my previous sojourns have? Will I make new friends—or will I be content to just reconnect with old ones?

I thought about the places I’d want to visit again this morning, and the ones I’d probably skip. I fantasized about biting into my first crèpe Nutella and sipping my tenth verre du vin. I wondered how many steps I’d manage to take before I (finally … inevitably) stepped in dog poop.

All of those questions will be answered in time. For now, all that matters is this: I’m. In. Paris!

The trip started inauspiciously, with a culinary fiasco the flight attendants called “chicken.” Its gelatinous texture suggested aspic, and it was so generously seasoned that it rendered salt licks obsolete.

But I forgot all about that when we met Chris and his wife Silke for our first glass of the 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau. We shared a bottle at the appropriately named JetLag bar in the 2nd arrondissement. Then, the four of us headed out for dinner in earnest.

I couldn’t resist ordering the escargots. (In case you’re wondering, that’s French for “snails.” No, they’re not one bit slimy. Just incredibly delicious!)

And I couldn’t resist snapping a photo in the world’s most graffiti-covered bathroom.

Disappointed in my photos?

I’m not. I came here with no expectations. Maybe I’ll shoot some more tomorrow. Maybe I won’t. Either way, I’ll have a great time.

Thanks for tagging along — and please stay tuned. There’s much, much more to come.


    • Ha, ha! Our bandwidth at the apartment is deplorable, so I’m limiting myself to the bare minimum of photos. Glad you’re enjoying your jam, though. Too bad they were out of the lingonberry kind; that’s my favorite.

  1. Not disappointed at all: in fact that first picture is stunning and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anything like it.

    In regards to travel expectations, in New York it used to bug me when I’d overhear plump tourists visiting from other states grumbling that Manhattan wasn’t the Disney Land they expected, where you hop off the plane and all the attractions are right in front of you. It’s a thriving metropolis people! — you need to dive in, work a little bit for it, and yes, take the good with the bad in stride. I always felt people were missing the essence of a trip like that because anything that wasn’t cruise-esque seemed like a downside to them. But for you it seems you’re able to find the charm in the little stuff like a conversation with a stranger or “va te faire foutre” scribbled onto a bathroom wall, so I’m sure you’ll do well this trip 🙂

  2. Yes, the first shot is impressive. Beautiful light in the Ile de France. Since I’m not a ‘food’ person I’ll skip dinner and head back out into the streets. When you’re ready, H. 🙂

    • I am ready indeed, Keith. Hang on — we’re about to cover *a lot* of ground together!

      If there are any old haunts you’d like me to visit for you, please drop me a note. I would adore being your remote-control photographer. Grin.

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