Sarah and I have arrived in Paris, delighted to find that it's not nearly as cold as the television news lead us to believe and that despite the complaints of French friends, the world has not frozen on its axis.
It is cold, but not cold enough to wear the undershirt I bought at Marshall's. There are more fur coats in the streets than I have ever seen before-- it's just like a chilly Rosh Ha Shannah at Temple Emmanuel and almost as furry as winter in Milan. The gear is somewhat Russian in style-- Natasha of the Steppes in dark mink, with those ear flappy mink hats, heavy boots and big, fat sunglasses. Perhaps everyone has emptied the closet at the ski chalet and bundled up to face the cold...and the wind. The students, sans fur, are sporting necks wrapped in loops of fabric from chin to chest. It's all very chic.
The days are gray, but there's no rain...and Christmas decorations are still up, so there's a festive air amid the signs for various SOLDES. Along most of the 6e, the streets are strung with garlands of blue violet neon Chinese lanterns with tails of silver glitter. Few stores have spring merchandise; most stores have bins filled with mark-downs.
Prices, even on sale, seem very high. The taxi minimum has gone from five euros to six; last summer's t-shirts at Monoprix are at 70% discount, nine euros, which once you do the math isn't all that cheap. Even fleur du sel is up to almsot four euros, one euro more than last year. (Still, it's $11-12 in the U.S.)
With the state of our jetlag and the weather, we buy dinner at Bon Marche and warm in in the micro-onde. Last night it was beouf stew; tonight it's lamb stew. It's stewy weather. We had breakfast for lunch at Laduree and were admonished for ordering mango macarrons. It's not the season! You msut have fig and date.
And tomorrow perhaps we'll wake up before 10AM.