ok so if truth be told I had to buy another one for the shoes). In fact at check in my bags set a new record and my back pack is a staggering (yes I actually stagger when wearing it) 25 kilos.
I have become so used to the load that I only wince a little bit when putting it on.
Back in the comfort of St Sulpice, which I found out is one of Paris' best addresses I watched Rachel's comic surprise when unloading my shoes... you brought that many she said, her tone part shocked part disbelief as I admit ed my indulgence, vanity and the like.
I have never really been a big shopper, my father would disagree but extravagance does not come easy for a girl who had holidays spending 3 and half months ruffing it in Asia, but they were all so beautiful I felt that it would be a crime not to take them home.
Afterwards, Rachel told me that when Sex in the City was filmed in Paris, our petite apartment was filmed in one of the street shots.... laden with more shoes that I care to admit, perhaps I was the real Carrie Bradshaw!
That night, Rachel arranged for us to met some of her friends from university, an intelligent Ivy League group with whom I debated American foreign policy and the recent US election results with, it felt more like a discussion from home and certainly nothing which I encounted on the back packing circuit.
We went to a little French bar, that was quaint and the perfect place to sample some vino, the wine was delicious and as we sat at the bar we watched out the window as a very handsome guy wearing a beret and carrying a baguette walked past (honest truth!!)... I felt the urge to run him down with my camera, the epitome of Frenchness to me but I stopped when I realised how agitated the French can get about things like that.
The next day, the weather was terrible, my plan to go running along the seine was cancelled when we stepped outside and felt the bitterly cold wind against our cheeks and the torrential rain on our heads, instead we went to the local market and fromagery and made soup and salad at home and laying in bed and reading the news.
That night we met up with Aurile another old house mate from Abercrombie Street, and went to a postcard perfect street in St Germain for some more wine, she was as beautiful and charming as I remembered and we caught up about old times living in redfern which seemed such a world away from my existence in Paris.
The next morning Lisa arrived from China and unable to sleep (I was too excited), I bounded out of bed at 5 am and set about getting ready to met her at a famous french cafe where Hemmingway used to hang out near St Germain.
I arrived at the cafe very early, the croissants still in the oven and was asked to come back a few hours later... I wandered Paris' dark back streets, illuminated by the moon and the odd street light and was happy to be alive.
When Lisa did rush into the cafe I was overjoyed. Matt (her lovely boyfriend/live in lover) looked very french in his kangol cap and together we set about seeing some sights. I played tour guide and together we walked every street in Paris, kilometre after kilometre until we were all so tired we felt like we would drop.
That night I met up with another old flatmate (are you sensing a trend.... 3 people I have lived with now all reside in St Germain... umm a coincidence or something more?). Dave took me to a great crepe shop and I indulged in goats cheese and salad (on a crepe) and good old fashioned nutella... makes my mouth water at the thought.
I was sad to leave Paris, my name sake city uncertain of when I would return but so happy to have had the chance to see so many old friends.