Happy accident or trainwreck?

20 Apr

forbidden fruits - bread, cheese, wine


Ok, here we go – thoughts on my meanderings and people I meet in Paris.  I’ll probably talk a lot about food, too.

I am in Paris for at least the summer and am here, as the title suggests, by accident.  This isn’t an Eat Pray Love sort of journey.  I was really happy where I was.  However, when someone offers you 6 months in Paris (my husband took a job here and wanted a partner in crime), if you can, you take it.

Besides the disappointments in temporarily leaving my happy life back in Scotland, there are several other aspects to this adventure that make accidents more likely. 

First, there is my ambivalence towards Paris.  I’ve been, it’s a nice place, but there are so many other places to see.  When the trip was first mentioned Paris felt a bit ‘old world’, a bit like well-covered territory, almost cliché. Everybody either loves Paris or dislikes the French … or a mixture of both.  Rio, Mumbai, Shanghai – these are places you can write home about.  Paris – haven’t all of the stories been told/heard before?

My next hurdle is a communication problem. I don’t speak French.  I had a good old American school stab at learning Spanish and later, in situ, learning Japanese. Based on these experiences I can say with quite a bit of authority that I am not a linguist.

Finally, and possibly the most accident-inducing aspect of my time here is food related. Imagine telling a French person that you don’t eat bread, cheese, butter or drink wine.  I do eat meat and, by some chemical miracle, can drink champagne, but I am allergic to gluten, dairy products, fish/seafood and wine.  I don’t go into anaphylactic shock if any of these substances come my way, but I am pretty uncomfortable until they clear my system. Wish me luck and send toilet paper.

Anyway, will my time here be a happy accident or a trainwreck? Let’s see.

7 Responses to “Happy accident or trainwreck?”

  1. Annie Gunner Logan at 6:31 pm #

    Girl, Joni Mitchell is gonna sue you for copyright:

    “Sitting in a park in Paris France
    Reading the news and it sure looks bad
    They won’t give peace a chance
    That was just a dream some of us had
    Still a lot of lands to see
    But I wouldn’t want to stay here
    It’s too old and cold and settled in its ways here”

    (“California” released in 1970, better believe it!)

    Joni doesn’t say anything about food intolerance, though. She’d eat a horse, that one.

    Soyez sage, tous les deux, bisous! xxx

    • Jennifer Flueckiger at 8:27 am #

      Oh dear, I was right … no new stories. For the record, horse is not technically a problem for me either.
      Wouldn’t it be nice if I could channel a wee bit of Joni!

  2. Dad at 9:29 pm #

    Looks good!

  3. Jennifer Bertie at 4:09 am #


    I will be reading with interest and envy. I dont think it will be trainwreck. Enjoy the experience and the ambiance of Paris.
    Love Jennifer xx

  4. Richard at 4:35 pm #

    Tonight we drink champagne and eat beef tartar – no butter, guaranteed. Will bring toilet paper anyway.

  5. “First, there is my ambivalence towards Paris. I’ve been, it’s a nice place, but there are so many other places to see. When the trip was first mentioned Paris felt a bit ‘old world’, a bit like well-covered territory, almost cliché….”

    You stole the words right out of my mouth! 😀 I continue to have this kind of ambivalent relationship with Paris (as many a blog post will attest), but now that I have been here about three years, I’m starting to warm up. I cannot blame you for not wanting to leave Scotland, though! Oh wow. Now *that’s* one of my dream destinations!

    Good to “meet” you here and I hope that we can meet in person soon.


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