I'm at a roadside bistro watching people go by as I sample more food and more Perrier. This morning I said good-bye to my friends CW and HL. We had an awesome time ranking croissants and getting lost in certain metro stations. Since then I have been checking out Paris on my own.
I've put in almost 10 miles of walking and it is only 7pm. The only goals I have left for tonight is to see the Eiffel Tower lit up after dark. Then it is bedtime.
I've moved to a packed cafe in the neighborhood I'm staying and I've ordered a cappuccino. It's after 8pm and I'm ordering caffeine, this is nuts for me. But it is still light out and I'm not drinking wine or beer and I need to break up the Perrier. And I need to stay awake for the lit up Eiffel Tower!
Let's talk about not drinking in Paris. The only time it's been a bit challenging is now. I'm tired and by myself. Sitting with some booze watching the world go by and feeling all relaxed and buzzed sounds great. The time would pass nicely. I would have something to do. But when I think the drink all the way through it isn't what I want to do. And it is leftover thinking that it normal or positive to be drinking alone in public. It's not rebellious, courageous, or chic. It is sad. It is unnecessary.
I'm loving the café culture here. I blend in sitting by myself facing the street with a cappuccino and a creme brûlée. I blend in so much here that I've been asked for directions multiple times by French people! Such a nice change from being the obvious foreigner in Cairo.
If I were drinking I would have spent lots of money, got tucked away some place and would not have explored as much. With the move to the café and the surge of caffeine, all traces of craving have stopped.
Just ordered a Perrier and I'll continue to watch the Parisians stroll by, as I blend right in.
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. My life is so much better for it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp