Eating Escargot in Paris

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June, 2013

This morning, my new friend Georgia suggested we go to Sacré Couer, the cathedral on the hill, in the sun, with a gorgeous view of Paris. Good idea! She deduced we could get off at the stop ‘Place de Clichy’ which she didn’t know how to pronounce, and so said, ‘Place de Thingy’. Off we went to the cathedral. We arrived at the correct station, and began our walk.

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The cathedral came into sight and I was in awe. It is beautiful. We stopped at an ice cram stand nearby and bought a few scoops to enjoy on the hill. As we walked up the first steps, Georgia told me to hide my wrists. I was puzzled, but did as she said. We turned the corner and were accosted by vulturous men grabbing at our arms, trying to tie bracelets on our wrists, forcing us to buy them! I kept my head down and my arms crossed. I kept walking and ignoring him, and he finally left me alone. Phew. I checked Georgia’s wrists to ensure she had survived the trip too. Bracelet-less! Double phew! We found a spot halfway up the hill and set up camp. I ate my decadent Parisian ice cream and Georgia had a nap. I watched the people walking by, taking photos, holding hands, kissing, drinking beer, it was so lovely.

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We were both quite hungry, and so grabbed a table on the patio of a cute little French bistro up the hill in Mont Marte. The waiters at this place were the flirtiest bunch I have ever encountered. We came to the conclusion that it is in their job description: clear plates, take orders, brush patron’s hair out of their eyes, constantly wink and smile. We ordered a carafe of Bordeaux.

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Maybe it was the delicious red wine, maybe it was the flirtatious French men, maybe it was just the love in the air. Whatever it was, I was inspired to take the leap and try escargot! The little snails arrived to the table in a funny little dish, and they smelled amazing. You know what? I actually really liked it! How could I not? Anything doused and cooked in that much garlic and butter is going to be an instant hit with me. They tasted kind of like mussels. I was quite pleased with my French wine and my French dish and flirtatious French waiters. We finished our wine and paid the bill. As we left, the waiters grabbed at us, tried to pet our chins, touched our arms, kissed our hands. I was amazed, and totally uncomfortable. We walked past the cathedral and down the hill, guarding our wrists again from the bracelet vultures.

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We found the metro stop and it was time to say goodbye to Georgia. One of the the most amazing things about traveling is how quickly you can make friends, and then as quickly as you connected, they are gone like the wind. I think it is such a magical thing to be able to share a beautiful day or two days, or week, or whatever, with someone, divulge all your dreams and hopes and fears, and then part ways. With a stranger is the safest place to keep a secret

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