14 April 2011 – Paris

Less than one hour to fly from Frankfurt to Paris, then about two hours to get out of the airport. I have to get my baggage … which has arrived safely, so that is one big concern out of the way. Then I need to get a SIM card for my phone, exchange some money for Euros and find a bus that goes to or near Gare Montparnasse, from which I will be leaving tomorrow morning. I discover that my hotel is on Rue du Maine, not Avenue du Maine. This takes a while. It is already 4 PM when I am supposed to meet my cousin Roger and his wife Jackie, who have come from north ofLondonto see me today and are staying about 5 km from here. I find a cab driven by Marc Etienne Monet, 50s, fleshy face and body, no English, and who is very excited when he finds that I have come toFrance to walk the Chemin de St.-Jacques. His wife walked it some years ago. I meet Roger, Jackie and Will Inrig, grandson of old friends. Will is studying here in Paris. I thought he was studying film, which he was, but now he is studying Fine Arts and will start at the Sorbonne this fall. We walk down the street to a small brasserie on the bank of the Seine and have drinks and a light dinner. It’s wonderful! Jackie asks me probing and thoughtful questions about why I am doing this and I answer truthfully, “I still don’t know why.” She cautions me, very sensibly, about trying to recreate the experience. After dinner, I say goodbye to Roger and Jackie, promising to meet again soon and Will takes me off to Montmartre to see the lights of Paris at night. Then he generously gets me back to the door of my hotel. I use the European plug adapter for my cell phone to charge it overnight. This will have fateful consequences.

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