A couple of weeks ago I attended my second social event through The American Church. This time I joined the lunch group, which meets once a month at various restaurants and bistros. Eight of us met at Koetsu, a Japanese restaurant on Rue Sainte Anne. One thing I’ve noticed in my limited interactions with American Church groups is that many expat women are here because their husbands are on assignment in Paris, and some of these men are employed in the oil industry. These women don’t have to work, and like to talk about their homes and extensive travels. One woman, who wasn’t even American, said she won’t even fly anywhere unless she can go business class. Well, honey, I’ve flown business class too, when they upgraded my coach fare, and I don’t want to fly coach either. But I would never go anywhere if I said I had to fly business class. Some of us have to work, oh, I don’t know… 65 HOURS A WEEK. And then she went on to say that she and her friends will be renting a luxury villa in Spain for 12 days. Oh, that’s nice. Usually those things don’t bother me, but I guess I was a little grumpy that day. Did I mention I worked 65 hours that week?
Afterwards, I consoled myself by going to Café Angelina on Rue de Rivoli for their famous hot chocolate. I had heard about l’Africain many times, but never tried it. It’s thick, like melted chocolate, and served with a little bowl of whipped cream on the side. I know some people don’t like it, but I knew what to expect, and I also knew not to order a pastry alongside it. That would be overkill. So I took my time, enjoying the ornate yet shabby interior, and doing a little people watching and decompressing.
And then I went to the Concorde métro station, where I saw this lively Russian folk music group. That cheered me up and got me ready to attack whatever tedious patent I was translating that day. I don’t want to sound ungrateful for the work, especially considering how slow February was. But sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. Later that night, when I took a break, I came across this blog called 65 Red Roses. The beautiful woman who wrote the blog had just passed away from cystic fibrosis at the age of 25. Reading through that blog pretty much kicked the ass of any lingering self pity I had.