The view from Above
Trip Start May 19, 2008
50Trip End Ongoing
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We're starting to realize some of the finer differences between the US and France, because at this point in our travels, some of our essential products have become depleted. For instance, we were both surprised that the only kinds of deodorant you can get here are either liquid roll-on or aerosol spray. And I think our "2 in 1" shampoo/conditioner is actually just conditioner. Size matters. Everything here is about a third of the size compared to the US. For instance, my (roll-on) deodorant stands about 3 inches tall-and that's normal. It also smells like coconuts, which may or may not be normal. Wine bottles are normal sized, but you know that. Trash cans are annoyingly small, the one in our kitchen doesn't even make it up to my knee.
Our supply of clean clothes also dwindled this week. So, I experimented with hand washing. We don't have laundry facilities in our building, and the laundromat down the street costs about $12 USD per load. Not kidding. So I washed a load or two in the sink and hung them up to dry in the bathroom. It took 24 hours for even the smallest pair of underwear to dry. For the second try, Kyle tied a rope from the stairs to the door knob to a kitchen stool-creating the ultimate booby trap---and hung some clothes to dry overnight. We opened up all the windows and prayed that the wind wouldn't pick up and blow all our clothes away. They didn't blow away, but they didn't dry either.
If this experience teaches us nothing else, we can at least say we've learned to make do with what we've got. We might have to put up with tiny trash cans, but at least I can say I've made lasagna in a saucepan and cooked it in a toaster oven.
In addition to experimenting with household dilemmas and solutions, we've been establishing a sort of routine. Kyle takes the metro to the university everyday and sometimes I join him when I need an internet fix. Unsecured WIFI doesn't exist here. In the evenings and on the weekends, we walk through our neighborhood and buy groceries. We cross the Seine and check out the happenings in old town. We watch fireworks, play cards, and dash through the rain. Three times since moving here, marching bands have trumpeted down our street, for no apparent reason at all. We lean out the windows and can't help but smile. It's random, it's kind of funny...and it's France.
Today we hiked up the hillside to a popular look out point. We saw church steeples, curving rows of tile roofs, sailboats along the Seine, and busy streets down below. And now, it's 8:00 PM on Sunday. The sky is blue, and everything seems just right.
Leeza and Kyla