This is actually a much nicer neighborhood than it sounds like

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After a long flight from the US, I’m tired, but not too tired to pick up some flowers. Yes, that’s the guy across the street having a cigarette on his balcony. Picture source: me.

All seems to be right in my little neighborhood.  The old drunk who likes to sit slumped against the stanchion of the metro tracks with a bottle of booze between his legs is ranting at everyone, or at no one–I can’t understand him well enough to tell.  The oddly blonde Roma woman who has been begging by the machines where you refill your transport pass for the past year and a half is…begging by the machines where you refill your transport pass.  Giorgio, the owner of the place where I get my nonexistent hair cut, is surprised to see me, but always happy to schedule me for a shearing.  (From Giorgio’s very branché accent, I’m guessing that he was born and raised right here, probably as Georges.)  Pretty girls walk out of the metro station.  The fruit marchand suggests some grapes, and also thinks that the clementines are worth considering.  The baguettes from my favorite boulangerie aren’t hot at this time of the day, but I’ve gotten there early enough to get the kind that I’m in the mood for today.  (Yes, there are different kinds.)  The guy who works in the tabac (tobacconist’s shop–you buy everything from postcards to lottery tickets there) gives me a nod.  The pickings at the fleuriste are slim, but I find some pretty orange things.  A knock-out woman of a certain age is having a proper lunch in the corner cafe with a kid who is either her grandson, or the youngest gigolo in creation.  The lady behind me in line at the metro ticket counter is wearing a short white raincoat and combat boots, and muttering something about Africans.  Or hurricanes–I really hope it’s hurricanes.  I very badly need to improve my French…  When I’m in Paris, I live in what is generally considered to be the most boring arrondissement in the city–but, I am terribly fond of it.

I managed to do my shopping without running into a single word that I didn’t know, but that streak will end as soon as I open the copy of Le Monde that I bought.  Come back tomorrow for the usual obscure vocabulary items.

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