A friend of mine invited me to her weekend house, which is located just outside of Paris.
On a Friday night, after work, we headed for a tiny island that floats on the Seine. You may know that Ile Saint-Louis and Ile Cite are also on the Seine, but our destination was a bit farther from the center of Paris.
About an hour’s drive brought us to the island. To my surprise, it was a gated community and the way we traveled to the island was beyond my imagination. Can you guess how? We landed on the island by rowing a small boat similar to the one we can see at parks. I was on cloud nine, this was already an exciting start to our weekend.
The site is, according to my friend’s explanation, a cooperative society and the residents enjoy their holidays in conformity with the rules so that they can preserve its beautiful nature. There are some sporting facilities like tennis courts and a swimming pool, but except for that, there is nothing artificial and even their houses are made of wood. That’s quite unusual in France, where stone buildings are most common.
My friend’s house is by the river. It’s very comfortable just feeling the winds breezing from the river or lying on a sofa in the garden. These simple things are enough. There is nothing here, but there is everything to relax and rewind.
During the night, I got out of my bed and watched some cargo boats passing by from the living room. It was a full moon and as a boat crossed the river, the reflection of the moonlight simmered on the water. It was so romantic. I felt that the house was like a boat itself flouting gently on the Seine. It reminded me of Kenji Miyazawa’s story ‘The night on the milky way train’ or 銀河鉄道の夜. The boat seemed like it was being lifted up into the night sky.
↓Thank you very much for your click.
I went to Paris for the first time in about 10 years. I have to admit that I needed some courage to go there because I thought flying more than 10 hours would have been tiring for my age. However, the excitement of seeing my old friends overrode my anxiety and consequently, my trip was wonderful.
Almost everyday I hung around town with some of my friends, visiting museums and enjoying window shopping. It was very interesting just to take a stroll in Paris. As I walked around and gained a recollection of locality, I noticed that there were very few convenience stores in town as there were ten years ago.
In Tokyo, I’m sometimes disappointed to find out that my favorite shops have been taking over by convenience stores. Even in Aoyama, convenience stores are invading main streets, needless to say the back streets. I’m afraid so many convenience stores will diminish the character of areas and make them all the same.
Small original retailers seem to still be very active in Paris. Bakeries, spice and grocery shops, delicatessens, cake shops, boutiques and cafes make Paris exactly what it is. They shouldn’t be replaced by convenience stores even if it is bit inconvenient.
Having said that, I’m not an inconveniest. One thing I’m sick and tired of in Paris is the subway stations. They still haven’t installed escalators yet. Moreover, passengers are always waiting in line in front of the ticket machines because there are so few of them. Even if they improve these things, I don’t think that Paris would lose its splendor.
↓ Thank you very much for your click.