I bet you’re sick of hearing about my adventures at the Hopital Lariboisiere, right? Well, I was sick of having them, so we can both be relieved that the morning of March 15 constituted my last visit to Parisian Nurse-Land. I’d been told by the nurse in Emergency that I’d have to return to hospital every morning to be treated, so imagine my relief when the two nurses at the clinic told me that I could do the treatment myself, and that if the toe stayed as bad as it was, rather than getting worse, I wouldn’t need to have surgery overseas.
Oh, frabjous day! Do you know what this meant? It meant that I didn’t look like this for, oh, days:
Thankfully for everyone around me, I also didn’t look like anyone in this sculpture:
Now here is where the day gets embarrassing (as if describing myself playing nude planes [I wonder what would happen if we googled that? Go on, I dare you] isn’t embarrassing enough). When I arrived at the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, I dutifully circled on my free map all the people I wanted to see. Or their tombs. I’m not so into decomposed skeletons (although I am sad I missed out on The Catacombs).
Chopin, Auguste Comte, Honoré de Balzac, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein… you get the idea.
Readers, I failed. If this was a dead person version of Where’s Wally, Wally won*. That place is big, and after I could not find many of the people on my list, I gave up and just enjoyed meandering.
I did find Oscar Wilde, but he’s impossible to miss.
I also spotted my first flower-in-bloom of Spring which, combined with the appearance of the sun, made me content. What, you may ask, could make this day more pleasant?
One word: Camille.
Chocolate, cheese, and crepes may be the words beginning with “C” that most people think of as constituting happiness in Paris, but I am here to tell you that meeting someone as fun, positive, and warm as Camille absolutely trumps all of that. There is something overwhelming about meeting someone for the first time and feeling instantaneously comfortable, free, and joyful in his/her company; I suggest everyone aims to make such first meetings involve an hour and a half walking along a canal in Paris, in the sun, being shown local haunts by a local, and being taken to said local’s favourite local boulangerie.
This placed smelled good-oh. And I was even allowed to take photos (yes, I’m looking at you, Picard).
The best thing about this afternoon with Camille? Knowing at the end of it that we’d be meeting up again in a few days’ time.
(Of course, there were delicious eats on this day too – but I think I shall do some food-centric posts in the future. Might even write them on my overnight train from Paris to Florence tonight. Which, quite frankly, terrifies me. A six-person mixed-dorm couchette and train bathrooms? I am absolutely wearing my trackydaks on the train and sleeping in them. And taking enough cookies, chocolate, and cheese to put me in a stupor. If only I could take a Camille…
* I feel better about this now, as a few days ago I saw a map of the cemetary that a fellow hosteller had. It was detailed, and clear-to-read, and showed exactly where people’s tombs were. For some reason, I got the paint-by-numbers-map which just had numbers splodged in the middle of vaguely-shaped sections. Oh hai, self-respect! There you are!