One of the more “intense conversation” I’ve had with Andrew took place in the most decadent of places: a lovely tea salon in Paris. Hey, if you’re going to have a fight you might as well do it with white linen. We disguised it as a discussion about the French theorist Pierre Bourdieu and on the theme of taste regimes but really we were arguing. Apparently that’s what nerds do, they use theory to get at each other. He’d say that he won but I’ll call it a draw because the hot chocolate was really, really good. In any case, after taking a nap we were buds again.
It all started when he refused to wait an hour to gain entrance. I don’t really blame him because I don’t see many men lining up that length for tea service. I normally wouldn’t be so insistent but after reading accounts in a couple of travel books, I was not about to leave the city without having had a taste. So, I told him to head back to the hotel and that I would eat alone. Now, some women might say this and then pout about it later. I’m not one of those women. When I say that I don’t mind being alone, I don’t mind being alone. Early in my pregnancy I remember watching The Help on my own in a cinema with tears flowing freely down my face. The whole thing started to go awry when he attributed his impatience to Angelina being a tourist trap.
I don’t deny that it is, but hey, this certainly was not an issue when we lined up for an hour and half in front of the Musee d’Orsay in the pouring rain earlier in the day. Apparently, impressionists makes certain popular attractions more palatable. Truly, I’m the first to run to the museum in any new city precisely because of the way that works of art makes you feel. I will never forget seeing Klimt’s “The Kiss” in Vienna, in person, after having seen it day and night in my university apartment. You never have to ask me twice. But experiencing the beauty of food made with such care and skill is so visceral and important too. Also, the whole concept of the “tourist trap” bothers me. That statement reduces something meaningful to something flimsy like mesh. Of course you would never catch me outside of a wax museum and certain tall structures, but certain “traps” are popular because they are pretty enjoyable too. A gagillion people can’t all be wrong right? I’ve never defined myself as someone who is afraid to be part of the crowd. Being open to taking on any activity that means something to you is never a failing. So next time you’re out and about don’t be scared to join the queue. Plus, you just might have some fun.