Archive for July, 2006

Front Window

It’s hot. The weather started heating up a couple of days after we got to Paris, and by the time July 1 came around, it was beautiful and sunny. A couple of days of 88 degree highs, then 90, 91, and today, a high of only 78 but with about 65% humidity. (In London on Monday, the Department of Health issued a level three heat warning, and barristers and judges were given permission to take off their wigs during court proceedings!)

Mark and I have been sitting around the apartment in our underwear or a towel, stripping everytime we come back in from the outside. From my seat at the dining room table facing the street and the balconies and windows of the apartments across the street, I can see the various residents walking around half naked. A woman in a halter top. A man in his white briefs.

Three years ago, while I was in Nice visiting with Francoise, Anjely, the new born Rafael and Francoise’s parents, there was a heat wave in Europe that caused over 27,000 ‘additional’ deaths.

It is raining now, 3am, with periodic flashes of lightening brightening a not-quite-dark sky.

Mark and I have not adjusted our body clocks since arriving in Paris. So, our normal bedtime is around 4am. Who can go to bed early when it doesn’t even get completely dark until after 11pm? And dawn arrives around 5am? (Yes, I’ve gone to bed after 5am one day.) We get up and have lunch around 2pm, and eat dinner anywhere between 9 and 10pm. In between, we work, when we are not watching France play in the World Cup matches. Yes, it’s a good life.

The Marriage

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. Anais Nin

A world was born to Mark when he first met Francoise in 1982, when she and her mother, Lillian, kept running into each other as they scoured the rental flats in London. A world of the London School of Economics, of sharing a flat with his Greek roommate Yanis, and of cooking dinner parties with Francoise.

A world was born to me when I visited Francoise and baby Anjely in Paris in 1995 during a layover on a multi-country international program development trip to Kiev, Warsaw, Sofia, Yerevan, Bucharest, and Rome. A world of too-short trips to developing countries and emerging democracies, of strategic layovers to squeeze in visits with friends and family in Paris, Geneva, and Tirana, and of living in Washington, DC.

A world was born to Francoise when she met Pascal while working at France 2. A world of romance, of owning a house together, and of Anjely and Rafael.

All of these worlds came together on the first of July, 2006 when Mark and I witnessed the marriage of Francoise and Pascal at the city hall in Sceaux, France.

Mayor of SceauxFrancoise and RogerFrancoise and PascalRingsExchanging RingsSigning the PapersPascal’s WitnessesMark Witnessing the MarriageYoo-Mi Witnessing the MarriageAnjely


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