Lunch at Au Père Tranquille

17/08/22 11:59 

Holy croque madame, I’m here again.  Au Père Tranquille.  Sat downstairs, next to the mirrored column.  I’ve placed my order.  Yep, croque madame and the blatantly schoolboy beverage, diabolo menthe.  However, I’ve added not only a carafe d’eau but also a Piña Colada.  I guess with 6 hours until I have to start my return journey to Gare du Nord I can have a little taste of Cuba.  And alcohol.  I’ve had more alcohol in Paris on this trip than all the others put together.  Almost.  I did have those rums, that time.  And the champagne after the marathon.  And at the Moulin Rouge.  It really won’t become my thing as diabolo menthe is now firmly set as my thing. 

What isn’t set as my thing is the ability to pretend that I understand French.  The waiter hasn’t said a word of English to me.  Which is actually okay.  I haven’t a clue if anything will work out with lunch, however.  He asked if I wanted to come inside for déjeuner.  “Oui, s’Il vous plait.”  Would I like to sit here, here or here?  “C’est bon,” I reply, pointing to my table.  Are you ready to order? he enquires.  I place my order and he returns with my Piña Colada – after laying the table with the obligatory Au Père Tranquille round paper tablecloth – then questions if I would like the diabolo menthe now or with lunch.  I request that he brings it “avec mon déjeuner, s’il vous plait.”  It’s then that one of the two parked police vans pulls away with their sirens on. 

Luckily, the English has commenced otherwise I wouldn’t know how to tell him that I’ll be waiting before ordering my dessert. I don’t know if it’s because it’s lunchtime or I’m in a stereotypical French restaurant but service here, especially in comparison to last night at Jardin du Roy, is about a thousand times quicker.  Plus, they’ve had everything on the menu that I’ve asked for.  Although like night I’m also still waiting for the caraffe d’eau.  Every other table I look at has one.  And I bet they even ask for it. 

There are honestly hundreds of places to eat in Paris.  And I’m happy to try anything once, within reason.  Familiarity for me is where creativity resides, however.  It’s not like a writing habit but more the fact that it’s one less thing to worry about.  I know the location, the ambiance, the safety of it all.  New places don’t supply that at first.  That’s not true.  Those new places where I immediately feel at home give me all I ask for in terms of creative comfort.  It’s this comfort that enables my mind’s channel to open and my hand to move the pen and release the ink onto the pages without any thought. 

For now though, I’m about to read Bibliofile – Britain’s best postal book bargains.  The currently free newspaper catalogue. 

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