16/08/22 12:15 (French time)
Well, that didn’t take long at all. In 2 hours, I’ve arrived at Gare du Nord, dropped a bag off at Hotel Geneva, found the barber and had a haircut and shave, walked around the counter to St. Augustine, bought two boxes of Doliprane, lost my bank card, treated myself to une crème brûlée, un chocolate chaud et un sachet de choquette. And then found my bank card in my bag next to the Doliprane. All in a sweltering heat of around 25º.
I also walked past the rue de Londres road sign that I took a photo of 5 years ago. This became my branding for quite a while. I don’t know when the sign became even more defaced than it already was but I like to think in a romantic way that it was around the time I changed my branding to the more An Englishman in Paris that it currently is. It makes things a little clearer and evidently more relevant. Although without the .blog part, it may still mean less than it should. There’s not even an Instagram logo not point you in a certain direction. Nor a WordPress one, for that matter. It’s like this boulangerie that I’m in; it’s simply advertising in a newspaper as Midoré without the “Boulangerie Patisserie Restaurant” section underneath.
The crème brûlée is soft and creamy as expected but the hard crunchy bit isn’t. It’s simply smooth with a golden syrup flavour floating on top. Don’t get me wrong, it works very well – like the lady behind the counter understanding my order – but there’s just no ‘crack’ to get through. It may be the heat; it may be the time of day. Even with this essential experience missing, it’s still enjoyable as a lunchtime accompaniment to the hot chocolate. And the relief of finding my bank card.
I’d like to get to know this Café Richard more. He’s everywhere. Is it a highbrow company or simply a well-used one? The cups are a nice size for the rich drinks that are always served in them and their rims are wide enough to supply the lip with a tactility that allows the liquid to gently empty out at a satisfying pace. Nespresso coffee is about the experience; so are these cups.
It’s been a year since I was in Paris alone. I mean, yes, April saw me by myself (for about 7 hours) but running the marathon de Paris isn’t quite the same as sitting with a hot drink whilst writing away in my notebook. I actually miss writing and having Paris to myself. I really need to improve my French. And also create a list of the things I want to see and do. And then see and do them. I still have my shopping list to get which will more than likely be fulfilled tomorrow as I have all to do it – a trip to Les Halles, I suspect. Tonight, I’ll be checking in, grabbing a shower, a change of shirt and then heading slowly to the rive gauche for dinner. It’s going to be a long walk although I’ll stop off on the way for another little writing session. This is the plan. Unless it’s a necessity; Paris has me at her mercy. And I love it. I still can’t be certain if it’s Paris or simply not being at work and being away from it all but regardless, I’ll choose Paris every time to flâneur around.