So this week, actually the last weeks have been a total write off.
Let me back up.
David has been sick, lost his voice too, for the past 1 – 1.5 weeks and is now just a pesky, unrelenting cough. He could have caught it at work or on the metro or on the bus… who knows. Living here we are in much more indirect and direct contact with people than we even realize. I was all honky-dory because as past experience has shown, I was immune to whatever he had… or so I thought. We were just winding down our Whole30 when last Sunday morning I woke up with that itch in the back of your throat taunting me as a full blown cold or flu is imminent.
But first, despite David not feeling 100% even though it looked like he was on the upswing late last week, we headed to the 11th arrondissement to a bar called gossima to wish farewell to David’s co-worker, actually the girl who’s job he has just taken over. So in the voice of our favourite SNL character, Stefon: if you need a spot to check out, Paris 11’s hottest club is “Gossima”. Created from a defunk car garage and geeky, Olympic reject ping-pongers who wanted to show off their skills while still feeling cool. This place has everything: two stages, ping-pongs, charcuterie, black lights, a car pit, and sweaty French people running around tables with paddles.
It was fun but feeling under the weather and sipping waters all night prompted us to leave the party early at the respectable hour of midnight.
I woke up the next day with the aforementioned itch at the back of my throat. In order to make the most of the weekend and get some fresh air, we headed to the Marais to see the Chinese New Year Parade.
We got there about an hour before it was to start and like all events in Paris, the streets were packed. We navigated around the Hotel de Ville to place ourselves on the parade route along a very old, narrow street, Rue Vieille du Temple. Getting there was a challenge in itself as we felt like sardines wriggling for some space.
Ijust loved how a French lady behind us kept saying, in French, “excuse me, I’d like to get through.” No shit Sherlock! So do we! I actually turned around to mumble “Moi aussi”… I don’t think “No shit Sherlock” quite translates.
And when she continued, another guy, who wasn’t much smarter trying to get through with a full-blown stroller, gave her a similar response. Yet she siphoned through and so we just followed her lead. We finally made it to the street… how the parade got through all those people blocking the start is beyond me.
We walked up the street and finally found a decent spot a few blocks away as the crowds slowly dwindled… and then we waited. And we waited, way past the time the parade was supposed to start.
And we waited some more.
And then we saw some smoke up ahead. And in the 6 feet between us and the people on the other side of the street, they came along with firecrackers. Yeah I got some jolts to the legs and had to shield my face from getting pelted by burning flecks of carton.
And then waited some more.
And by then, finally, the parade had started.
And just when you think a parade can’t possibly navigate through 6 feet of space, ignorant, rude assholes stand in front of you, on the street, narrowing that space further down to like 3 feet and they stand with super telephoto camera lens merely inches away from the paraders, obstructing the view I had waited an hour for! Argh!!!
Sometimes I just smack my head and shake in disbelief.
But despite all that, it was lively, colourful, amusing and not a bad way to spend part of the sunny afternoon… (of course if you don’t mind the ridiculous crowds).
After seeing some dragons, some colourful faces and costumes, and ladies waving around streams of tissues and fans, the itch in my throat was manifesting into lethargy, a headache and some shivers, so we headed home and I headed to bed.
And that’s where I stayed for the following few days.
So tired, sick, nasal-y, sore, feverish and snotty, that David even cooked dinner Monday night, my last Whole30 day. I was so annoyed and angry that I had gotten sick. The second time since the start of the year. And for someone who rarely got sick once a year, this was unnerving.
How could eating so healthy for the past 30 days not help prevent this?
Then when I finally made it to my French class and half the students where hacking up lungs, including the teacher, I realized, it was inevitable. So whether I caught it from David, or from class, someone the metro or someone I had to obligingly kiss ‘hello’ since that “la coutume” here… I got sick and it floored me.
Now I’m on the mend but still with a nagging cough and perhaps my immune system isn’t so bad after all… having gotten over this relatively quick compared to the 1-2 weeks it’s taken others we know. But it’s frustrating because I haven’t been running, haven’t gone to the gym, didn’t go to conversation group or teach my French kids, missed some class just days before our final French exam and didn’t get all the things I wanted to do this past week.
But c’est la vie… and there’s always next week.