I'm sitting in a hotel lobby in Paris, waiting to check-in. If you told me that when, one day, I'd finally get to Paris all I'd want to do is take a shower, I'd have called you crazy. But it's early and smoggy and I'm sort of unpleasantly aware of my lungs and eyeballs. The sleeping compartment ride over from Zurich was oddly creepy, three strangers stacked on each side of the wall, thrown together in the dark. It should be no worse than flying, but somehow lying down turns on my high-alert extincts, making it difficult to sleep. After my paen to water yesterday, I somewhat ludicrously ran out and was terribly thirsty. I'm travelling with Eric and Ruchira, and the glass of Orange Juice that Eric got me in the lobby was one of the sweetest I've tasted.
First impressions: Dirtier, but grand. Muggy. And it's deeply pleasant to be confronted by signage in a language that I at least theoretically know. Hopefully that rusty French will come back quickly. Though so far the hotel staff is so fluent in English I haven't had a chance to try. I noted the real-estate magazine in the lobbies--isn't it trendy for Americans to buy land here?