Last weekend, Nicole needed to take the LSATS and the closest place that they're offered is Paris. In a tremendous display of selflessness, I agreed to accompany her. I took over a hundred pictures, which I'll be shortly posting along with a narration. Rather than replicate that, I will type here instead the unphotographed sections of my journey and, at the end, some useful advice.
It's that time of year when Paris stores are allowed to unload their unsold inventory. If last weekend was not the end of it, next weekend will be. At this point, their goal is not make profit, but to minimize loss. This means cheap french clothes for me. I was all over the soldes like vinyl car seats and bare legs in the summer.
For the most part, buying clothes is a chore for me. I have a hard time finding my size, or something I like or a non-hostile place to shop. None of this is true in Paris. I can let my inner metrosexual run amok. On the train there, I read a copy of GQ, looking for trends. Of course, upon arrival, I ignored all of their advice. Loafers? No, I want shoes just like my old shoes, but less old or more functional. (Ok, my inner metrosexual isn't very metro.)
I walked into a store that sells suits and tweed. They only had a couple of things in my size (which really is as small as certain tweedy shops in The Hague have informed me). Green tweed? I was leaning against it, but then the shop guys were gathered around. «C'est magnifique!» "Wow," they told me. "Fabulous!" These were old, grumpy suit store guys. At that moment, I began pondering when I could next live in Paris. Sometimes, I kind of like capitalism. These guys wanted my money. Concerns about my foreignness or whatever were entirely secondary. Maybe I do look as fab as they say in the jacket. A distinct possibility, I think, as my self-esteem has climbed to it's normal Trump-like levels from this encounter. (yeah, ok, see if I didn't keep telling myself how great I was, hostility would squish me, but in the absence of hostility it over-compensates.)
Yeah, I got TWO pairs of shoes. Neither with goretex or vegan, but I don't want to wait until I'm in San Francisco to get new shoes. Extravagant. Nicole says it's reasonable to have many pairs of shoes. Also, two pairs of pants, two shirts, a bow tie (which either says gay republican pundit or high school science teacher. I hope for the former.). So I think I'm good for clothes until 2008.
If you are getting over a cold, don't try to smoke a pipe, even if it makes you imagine yourself as Hemmingway-esque. If you do smoke a pipe, don't accidentally inhale. If you do inhale, get plenty of sleep that night. If you don't get plenty of sleep that night, at least get some the next night. If you are short on sleep and coughing, don't stay up to all hours of the night, even if you are dreading an appointment early the next morning. If you do stay up too late, at least get up early so you don't need to sprint 8 km to your appointment. If you fail all of these, skip having beer with your friend on his birthday that night. Even if you feel guilty about it. I can follow at least the last bit. bah.