I haven't written a blog post in ages. Well, that's not entirely true. I have written the same blog post over and over in my head. It's the one about how ridiculous this whole weight thing is. It's the one about the fact that some of us are heavier than others, but that quite possibly living in the modern world, any number of food additives (in particular hormones) that weren't in the food chain until fairly recently and most importantly dieting, have made many of us with a naturally chunky build into much larger versions of ourselves than our heredity had ever meant us to be.
That's the short and sweet version of my recurring blog post.
In the meantime, my life has gone on and surprised me more than I ever could have imagined.
I'm writing this post at the very end of an eight-day trip to Paris where I took a week-long course offered by my professional association on French language and culture. The course was, to say the least, fantastic. From classes on current language in the press and on the street, to an amazing cooking class followed by eating the delicious supper we'd made, to a guided walk around an area I never would have visited otherwise (La Défense), to attending an amazingly energetic performance of Beaumarchais's "The Marriage of Figaro" (yes, the opera is based on an 18th century French play) to an explanation of how the French trade union system works (believe me, it's complicated and very different from what we have in North America), plus many, many other topics and discussions, I had one of the best weeks of my life.
Contrary to previous visits, I found Parisians to be quite pleasant and certainly not the supercilious snobs I had met in the past. Is this due to the economic crisis? Do Parisians feel they now have to--how can I say this politely?--suck up to the tourists so they can earn their living? I'm not quite sure. All I can say is that it was an "agréable surprise". Incredibly agréable.
The food in Paris is expensive but fantastic. What surprised me most, though, was the portions. They were gigantic. I really can't remember dishes being so big the last time I was here, over twenty years ago. Most of the time, I was often full long before the plate was finished and left a lot of food uneaten. It was really interesting and very bizarre. Have I lost any weight? Knowing my body as I do, I doubt it. Despite my dodgy hip and knee, I walked a great deal, but that seems to make little difference to my weight. Anyway, we'll see when I get home.
I'm really going to miss Paris. I've often said, with a nudge and a wink, that I was French in a past life. Definitely, I am drawn to France and to Paris in particular. If I only had one more trip left to do in my life, I would come back to Paris. When I emerged from the métro station last week after taking the train into Paris from the airport, I practically cried at how beautiful this city is. I will probably not cry as I leave today, but there will be a certain heaviness in my heart. I'm desperately hoping to come back next year.
Sympathy for the Devil, er, Chuck Schumer
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