Really, I am not complaining, but this adventure has made me realize it is sometimes grinding to be a tourist, to be on the road and unable to ask for directions with ease. Even more, we occasionally have met impatience and frustration (our own and others’) with our lack of language and knowledge of what is couth. After being cut in line, receiving poor service at a cafe, and being struck by thoughtless, clumsy youths while in line at the supermarket, going into tonight, I was feeling sort of roughed up by the hectic city.
Then, a man let me use his transit card when mine malfunctioned. He jumped the turnstile behind me as (teamwork) I held the next gate open for him. We parted ways quickly, but then we saw him waving au revoir to us from the opposite side of the tracks.
This evening, our last in Paris, we returned to our favorite Paris restaurant, Bistro des Gastronomes, in the Latin Quarter, the one featured in the previous dessert photos. The place was packed, but we pleaded to sit at the bar for just dessert and a coffee. The owner permitted this and was amused by our delight at my: Figues, dates et pruneaux rotis en bonbon, glace rhum raisins and M’s: Poelee de mirabelles deglacees au Muscat et crème legere de marscarpone. Incredible. Both had texture times ten. M’s even had the sensation of pop rocks!
If this wasn’t enough, the restauranteur chatted with us, giving us a small plate of madelines, two flaming (ignited tableside) crème brulees, and some prune wine that was strong and smooth.
In the course of the conversation, the owner shared how he met the gifted chef in a bar, saying, “You can meet good people in the bar.” We agreed, grateful to meet such a friendly and generous host. And, when we insisted on paying, he told us to stay in contact, giving us his information in Paris and in Augusta, Georgia. It is a small, surprising (and sometimes delicious) world.