It’s snowing this morning, turning a pleasant Sunday into a raging battle to stay warm as I walk around Paris searching for diversions. It snowed Wednesday and Thursday, too, and those days became special adventures to keep the cold out, clothed in the lightweight duds I brought to Madagascar, while I looked for warm clothes that I could afford (Paris is so expensive… I mistakenly played the “convert euros to ariary” game until I became depressed and miserly–and caved, and bought clothes). And today, though the snow is snowing and the wind is blowing, I don my new cold-weather clothes, my jeans and my jacket, scarf and hat, and brave the weather.
It’s gorgeous. I’m in love with winter all over again. Doesn’t matter than every night my face is raw and chapped and I am exhausted. Doesn’t matter that I am restricted in my activity because I can only walk around outside for so long–none of the wandering around for hours that I did in August–or that I look no different from the other swaddled blobs I see on the sidewalks or in the Metro stations. Doesn’t matter that the sun doesn’t come up until 9am and night falls around 4pm. I love it.
Plus, when all this rich Western food catches up with me, and my stomache protests against breakfast (which is free, and good, and so I eat like it’s my job–), and I feel incapacitated by stomach-ache and head-ache and general lethargy and disquiet, I can snuggle up in the squeaky hostel bed, and rest, and read, and feel awfully cozy. Because it’s snowing outside.
Besides the weather, Paris is great. I’ve eaten delicious pastries and breads (despite stomache pain–honestly, how could I not?), seen gorgeous and ancient works of art, studied ever-interesting Parisien mannerisms. I sleep like a baby at night, and am awake by 5am (oh, body clock, why don’t you have a snooze button!).
I leave for Scandanavia on Tuesday, taking an overnight bus from Paris to Copenhagen. From there, I’ll go to Sweden, where I’ll be staying with Ann & Co., who are kindly taking me in for the holidays. From there, who knows…