Tuesday, August 11, 2009

C'est Si Bon : The Wild Wild East Goes West III

Paris, Infinite Wisdom, NotreDame, Seine, End of the Vietnam War, Jardin du Luxembourg, St. Michel,  #25. That's us. The Taxi from Paris Est Station to St. Germain and the 6th arandissement is a whirlwind of postcard images and a far cry from the order of Frankfurt or the disorder of Ho Chi Minh City. To see the city in the flesh again for a second time makes one come to realize that whatever the French did add to Vietnam was but a drop in the bucket from the original. The aire urbaine that is the city of the Parisii envelopes one instantly from the river Seine to Notre Dame to our home for the next three weeks across from Jardin du Luxenbourg off Boulevard St. Michel. We are transformed, if only during the short ride, into urban sophisticates jetting the globe in search of business and pleasures unknown - untouched for just a moment by the realities that are our own independent lives - but even the city of lights can not take those realities away, rather it washes them in a waterfall of sights and sounds that say, "Wouldn't you like to be as fucking cool and sophisticated as we every day of the year instead of just for your time in this fucking cab?" My partner nods yes, without moving her head or saying a word at all.
6 months worth of luggage hauled up four flights of ever winding and ever steepening stairs and we are at 444 - a tiny disheveled apartment, on the inner courtyard of an otherwise quietly impressive building, that seems to have been decorated by a French Helen Keller and furnished by Stevie Wonder. There is even an artist's garret across the courtyard with paintings and easels and the smell of fresh oil paint waifting through the divide. This is our bohemian rhapsody for the next three weeks. Our foxhole for planning and plotting our next move.

Paris, Infinite Wisdom, NotreDame, Seine, End of the Vietnam War, Jardin du Luxembourg, St. Michel, A trip to the late night gourmet convenience store (I've not seen a 7-11 yet) and three hours of kitchen cleaning the next morning yeilds a spectacular salmon salad with homemade croutin for evening and a breakfast of French toast with salmon side salad the next morning. Dinner Saturday is a braised duck a l'orange with merguez and anchovie dressing on the side - so at least with a budget that is more than modest, we are eating like Sun Kings. The Beatles would have approved.

Paris, Infinite Wisdom, NotreDame, Seine, End of the Vietnam War, Jardin du Luxembourg, St. Michel, In 1990 I had visited Paris on a trip not unlike this, combining business and pleasure with a course in French country cooking along with tours of the museums and countryside, so to be able to exercise my culinary skills again in the city of their refinement along with a stretch of networking and plan building seems almost a dream too good to be true. We all need to be able to hold on to days like these and make the most of them - they don't come along but every 20 years or so - at least in my case. Paris, Infinite Wisdom, NotreDame, Seine, End of the Vietnam War, Jardin du Luxembourg, St. Michel,  And so today is the start of our research and contact building for the future. Is there a market in helping French based businesses with their management consulting and marketing affairs being activated in Vietnam? Well, we're certainly going to find out - and along the way discover just how much actual work it takes to make dreams come true and the proper amount of Infinite Wisdom to be used in holding the whole thing together. Vive la France!
Post Script: In the writing of this post the following reader registered in on my Live Traffic Feed: Paris, Ile-de-France landed on http://wildwildeastdailies.blogspot.com/ 14:36:14 -- 22 minutes ago - How did they know I was talking about them?

For more in the WWE Goes West Series check here:

I) The Wild Wild East Goes West: Onward Ho!
II) Frankfurt
III) C'est Si Bon
IV) Bon Jour Paris!
V) Les Picassos en Paris

VI) Nothing Much Happened en Paree Today
VII) Paris Wallpaper: Sometimes The Best Prayers Have No Words
VIII) Au Revoir Paris
IX) Is Publicis Groupe a Dead Brand?

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