Wandering the Wintry Streets of Paris
The following is a diary entry I wrote during my last week in France back in February 2021. I scribbled these words into a small black notebook which I only revisited after I had returned home to New Zealand. I always feel sheepish about how self-absorbed I sound in diary entries, but I guess that’s just the way diaries are. Whether they wear their underpants over their trousers or vice versa, everyone is the hero of their life story.
Wednesday 24 February 21:35
I had my test today. I was afraid I’d arrive late, and while I’d set myself 40 minutes to reach the lab in Gare Montparnasse by 10:20am, it only occurred to me while I was on the metro that even if I arrived at the train station on time, I wouldn’t know where to go. Thankfully, I managed to find it on the dot of 10:20am, and so my fear of having my rendez-vous cancelled became academic. As it turns out, I was the only person — or patient — there, and so my fears were probably overblown anyway. After paying almost 80€ for the test, I was brought into a room where a nurse placed a cotton swab up both nostrils. I had expected it to hurt, but it was so painless I was almost disappointed. The whole test was so quick — it lasted all of twenty seconds — that I felt a bit sheepish about fearing it for so long. I’d thought so long and hard about the test, it had blown out of proportion in my mind. I now await the results, which should arrive any time between now and 10:20am tomorrow.
After the test, I left the station and walked through an outdoor market outside the Montparnasse cemetery, before taking a wander inside it.
It was a stunning day, without a cloud in the sky, and the sun shone brightly upon the earth. I honestly believe that while winter may be the least sunny season, a beautiful winter’s day is more beautiful than a day during any other season. There’s something about the luminosity in winter that is particularly aesthetically pleasing — or at least to me anyway.
Following the cemetery, I walked through the 6th arrondissement and made my way through the Tuileries garden. The entrance used to have a sign, but it had been taken down during renovations a few months ago. I had recognised the removal…