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Posts Tagged ‘Weather’

Blah blah blah, went to school, ran twice — it was warm today! And sunny! And spring-like! And it also rained while I ran! In the sun!— discussed a journalism program dinner party, planned for the weekend, etc. etc. etc.

My day was pretty standard and rather lovely. I tried out a new boulangerie, one a little bit farther away from my apartment, but it might be worth it, because that baguette was really really good. I had purchased said baguette for the second round of my tasty winter roots meal that I prepared yesterday — roasted sweet potatoes, tubers, garlic, red and white onions and spices complete with olive oil and chevre cheese — and was planning to reheat it on the stove top today.

Which I did. I added a little more olive oil and fooled around with the leftovers from last night — a full  meal in itself, really — and then sat down to eat my food, complete with the above described yummy baguette.

Suddenly, there was a loud bang on my door. I opened it, holding Flocon, the cat, so she wouldn’t run out. There was a small, thin, red-haired woman there, who immediately began speaking in quick, difficult to understand French. From what I could gather, she lives upstairs and was upset about my cooking. I kept nodding, and she got angrier. I swallowed my pride and explained that I hadn’t completely understood her.

She rolled her eyes and told me, forcefully, in English, that “it was impossible to continue to cook in the manner which you have cooked.” She continued, telling me that the building had no chimney and the “escapes” were too much for her, and if I didn’t stop cooking like that, she would call the police. I told her I was sorry and that I had no idea that my cooking was bothering anyone, and that I would open the window to try and spread the scent and smoke around from now on.

“Yes, be sorry,” she said. “And open the window, but it is impossible to cook like that again. I will call the police if you do.” And then she turned around quickly and was gone, without even a “bon soirée” or any such pleasantries.

I closed the door, shaken and upset. I think what bothered me the most was this woman’s attitude. She treated me like I was personally lighting a fire under her front door and waiting until the toxic fumes were too much for her. Which is not something I was doing.

I cook. I like to cook. I am a good cook. I use spices — cinnamon, pepper, cayenne — and sauces — olive oil, balsamic vinegar — and like to make good tasting, good smelling food. My roommates here have told me how nice the kitchen and the apartment smells when I cook.

So I can’t really understand this woman’s problem. I thought maybe it was partly because I asked her to repeat herself — in French, mind you — and the request of a ‘dumb American’ made her angry, but even when she scolded me in French, she was rude, direct and not friendly. She did not say hello. She did not introduce herself. She just opened up when I opened the door and let me have it.

I emailed my landlord for suggestions on what to do, but I’m going to continue to cook, only now I will have the window open when I do so. I like cooking. I cook well. We live in an old building. The walls are thin and ventilation is terrible. I am terribly sorry that the smoke or smells or what have you bother this woman and her family. Really, I truly am.

But the way in which she treated me first shook me, and now really bothers me. She treated me as if I was being malicious, which is not wrong and silly.

I was cooking. And I’m going to keep doing it.

With the window open, and my stomach waiting.

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Really, good things did happen to me today. I’m not just avoiding writing my “modern French fable” or researching my Mediain Transition paper on a historical case of press censorship — I’m doing the Pentagon Papers (released by Cranbrook grad Daniel Ellsberg!) — or doing other such homeworky things.

In fact, here is a partial list of the good things that happened to me today:

1) I went grocery shopping and didn’t spend a lot of money

2) Class was interesting

3) The weather was lovely today

4) I had a nice run

5) I got a package from my parents!

6) That package had peanut butter in it

7) There was peanut butter in the package

8) Did I mention the peanut butter? I got some today

9) There were also Reeses’ Cups in that package, as well as a pair of shoes and my Lego watch

10) I did some laundry…while eating peanut butter

So, as you can see, good things happened to me today.

I also noticed — or rather, finally got fed up enough with this to write about it here — that people here in Paris really are quite awful at walking in public spaces. It is absolutely impossible to get around people in streets, in the subway, in the market, everywhere.

That’s not saying, of course, that Americans don’t also suck at public walking. We most certainly do! But here, I have really noticed a true difficulty in getting around people. And no amount of “pardon” and “excusez-moi” will do it.

Well, it’s back to my homework, now that I have successfully stalled long enough to make it closer to my bed time — and hey! someone is Skyping me! More stalling! — meaning less work for me to do.

And besides, none of this stuff is due for a while, anyway. So I’m good.

Did I mention I have peanut butter?

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