Having decided to take an unpaid leave from work and try doing something else, it was Paris that we settled upon with my fiancee as our new place of residence for at least a year. After spending a month in clean and well-organised Japan, moving to Paris was a bit of a shock. We rented a small studio in Montmartre with a leaking toilet that was actually placed in the room, being only cordoned off by a thin partition. It was on the ground floor and the window was so low that if a bigger dog wanted to, he could have peed straight into our room. The wooden shutters were cool, though, and I always liked the moment in the morning when one of us undid the metal latch and pushed the folded shutters to the sides of the window. The first thing we could usually see in the morning were the legs or the hind parts of a pair of tourists strolling down our street in the direction of the Sacre Coeur. “Aber ja, Mathilde, es ist hier, kuk mal nach links!”
There was a Greek “traiteur” on the other side of the street who used to sit outside the shop in the evenings with his notebook and one could almost imagine the scene taking place somewhere in the Peloponese and not in rue Andre Barsacq in Paris. We got to know each other after a while and exchanged friendly nods. In the warm May evenings we sometimes went for a walk along the curvy lanes of the hill, discovering quiet, scenic squares, where the local inhabitants would descend to smoke a cigarette on the bench while their dogs would roam around sniffing the warm evening air.
Aaah Montmartre! Living there had its charm but when an opportunity knocked three weeks later, we did not hesitate and moved to a slightly bigger apartment with a proper toilet in the 15th near Parc George Brassens. It’s the small things that matter the most, don’t you think?
(photos (c) Lucia Supova)