Thursday, February 11, 2010

Two Yogurts, No Spoon

10 February

‘Two yogurts, no spoon’ is a recently acquired philosophy of mine that well describes my first three weeks in Paris. Let me start by explaining: French yogurt is the best yogurt in the entire world. It’s just delicious. And you can find yogurt from local dairies in all of the supermarkets in these great little clay pots that I really wish I had a reason to keep forever.

One afternoon, after purchasing a pack of two of these cute and creamy treats, I arrived at CUPA and sat down to eat my lunch, and quickly realized that I had no spoon. Two yogurts, no spoon.

This kind of thing has become a trend in my day-to-day adventures. The first example that comes to mind was getting lost for an hour in the labyrinthine boulevards that make up Montparnasse on my way to the first day of orientation, making my entrance into the first meeting, half an hour late, spectacularly smooth. Two yogurts, no spoon.

A week an a half into my time here, I wake up early one morning feeling sick and miserable, but seeing as I’m scheduled to tour the maze that is my new school, La Sorbonne, I force myself out of bed and make the trek. While sitting on the metro (which I love), I realize that I really am about to throw up, so I toss myself off of the train and get intimate with the nearest trashcan. And then, of course, hop on the next metro and ride the rest of the way. Cherry on top: as I ascend the metro stop, I come to find that, sans doute, it has begun to snow. A twenty-four hour stomach flu and fever was to follow. Two yogurts, no spoon.

The next day, to my everlasting delight, my computer charger completely stops working. Thanks, Mac. And obviously, the single Apple store in Paris doesn’t have an availability for an appointment for another five days. Two yogurts, no spoon.

However, there is a second part to this philosophy. Going back to my initial, tragic story of not being able to eat my clay pot full of vanilla-y heaven, I later that night indulged in my yogurt, and after a long day of yearning, it was intensely satisfying. And therein lies the beauty: spoons are to be found.

Looking back at my rendezvous with Mac, there is a whole other part to the story. It turns out that this one Apple store in Paris happens to be in the mall located in the basement of the Palais du Louvre. After a long day of classes, I hopped off the metro on my journey to the Genius bar and found myself standing in the courtyard of one of the most magnificent palaces in the entire world, the glass pyramid entrance to the museum just yards away. It was one of the most surreal moments I’ve ever experienced. Things only got more awe-inspiring when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something flashing, and turned to see the Eiffel Tower lighting up on the hour. Here I was, casually making my way to the Apple store, except I just happened to be in Paris, a city dominated by beautiful, old structures, many of which are older than America itself.

My shock was further perpetuated when I realized that my nineteenth century French art history class would be meeting in that very courtyard every Wednesday morning, and that I would learn to look at it not just as a stunning historical landmark, but also as a place of learning and familiarity. Alas, the spoon.

So clearly, stomach flu and computer issues aside, these last three weeks have been amazing and eye-opening. As I try to find my niche in this big city, I’m realizing that my entire lifestyle has undergone a shift in a matter of weeks. With classes starting this week, I can only imagine the things I have to learn that lie ahead. In the meantime, I’m content to enjoy the simple pleasures of yogurt, the smell of French laundry detergent, the countless street florists, and pain au chocolat straight from the oven.


  1. UPDATE: First day of school (Monday): metro breaks down. Second day of school (Tuesday): walk into the boys' bathroom, elementary school style. Third day of school (Wednesday): metro breaks down. Fourth day of school (Thursday): seriously considering what I've done to deserve this gypsy curse. Fifth day of school (Friday): OH WAIT NO FRIDAY CLASSES. The spoon has arrived.

  2. It's the spoons that make it all worth while!

    Love you baby girl