I love being reminded of my last stay in France. It was 25 years ago and I was still a teen, a college junior studying in Bordeaux.
Now it's my last night in Paris as an adult student. I haven't yet started to pack up the belongings I brought with me or the ones I picked up the past 6 weeks abroad. Because of my procrastination, I don't have time to sit and eat a long meal so I found a little Vietnamese place off Rue Mouffetard. The street is teeming with people; I didn't expect the crowds until later in the evening. It's only 715p and the restaurants are filling up.
As I wait for my to-go meal, a couple of young men come in and attempt to speak in French. The server understands enough to realize they want to sit outside. Are these the new wave of students arriving, or the end of the summer travelers, all seeking some comfort food along the journey?
My food is ready. I go to the counter to pay (20% discount because it's takeaway! Perhaps procrastination does pay?) and see this movie poster framed on the wall:
It's for a movie called L'amant –The Lover.
It came out in 1992 with some scandal attached (remember Sharon Stone had just made news with the then-graphic Basic Instinct). It's about a French girl living in Indochine/Vietnam in the '20s. Perhaps because of the press it was receiving, my roommate and I went to see it in a small Bordelais theater.
The poster evokes memories of my year abroad and will now also remind me of my short stay in Paris as a writing student.
Now off to pack… Goodbye, Paris. A la prochaine, 'til we meet again.