The Daily Baguette: Chez Nous

I am glad to say it:I safely landed at Charles
de Gaulle.  I slept so long and well on the plane that I feel
great right now, even though my family resembles dead women walking.
arrived at our apartment on the Cite Martignac in the seventh
arrondissement courtesy of Ramon, our driver. He was good: he did not
hit any pedestrians, and he kept the sidewalk driving to a minimum.
Based on these accomplishments , I believe he might have been the best
driver we have ever had in Paris.
Cite Martignac is
narrow and cobblestoned, with a few trees of good size (including a
large Japanese Maple). Apartments in this area are very old (I am
Captain Obvious), and the architecture is quite nice: the buildings are
tall, made of gray limestone, and have ornate, heavy doors. Many of the
apartments have steep roofs and wrought iron elements. Yes, the
architecture is just as good as I remember it being. Score one for
The first order of business at the apartment was
food. (Food is always my first order of business.) With my mother and
sister, I sallied forth, looking for lunch. We bypassed the bar at the
corner in favor of a small bakery, where we were able to purchase tasty
slices of chicken and mushroom quiche without much difficulty, despite
our limited French. (Pointing works well.)
across the street from the bakery, we purchased international phone
cards at the tabac. I was glad to call Dad, even though trying to
figure out how to use the phone card almost killed us. I think we were
suffering from post-jet-lag stupidity.  As we talked with him
about a huge power outage and cleaning all the food out of the
refrigerator, a sudden realization hit us: we needed groceries.
of our family attempting to find basic food staples in France abound.
Up until now, we haven’t been able to do it very well. But things are
different on this trip because a mile from our apartment is a great
store called Le Bon Marché.
Wow, what a nifty place! Le Bon Marché
has just about everything a person needs: bread, cheese, drinks, sugar,
flour, meat, tea, vegetables, etc., all in one store.  And to top
it off, they offer a delivery service, which is great for people who
walk there but don‘t want to lug groceries back home.  
The first problem with Le Bon Marché
occurred at the grocery-cart line. There was obviously some sort of
locking system on the carts. We obviously needed a cart for the
apartment full of groceries we were going to buy. We tried to put in a
coin, then another second coin. I discreetly rattled the carts. The
large security guard looked at me. At last, a very nice little French
lady graciously picked through our change, finding just the right coin
to solve the cart problem. I smiled at the large guard and shoved off.
the carts, we progressed to the produce scales, attempted to
communicate with the cashiers, and stood in several wrong lines.
Finally, assured that the groceries we purchased were going to make it
to our apartment, we walked back to our French home.
our grocery delivery an hour later, we dined on breads, olive oil, and
cheeses. Despite the simplicity of this meal, it is possibly the best
combination of foods ever. It is filling, nutritious, and relatively
Tomorrow, we lunch at La Tour d’Argent for my
sister’s 13th birthday and receive my best friend. He’ll be staying
with us for several days. During his stay, we’ll lunch at Le Jules
Verne, visit Versailles, and mess around the Champs Elysée. He studies Latin at school, so we’ll be scoping out Roman antiquities at the Louvre.   
In the meantime, I think I’ll go out and scare some pigeons in the courtyard.

Taylor Horton is a high school student who considers himself very fortunate to be writing for Bonjour Paris this summer.

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