I met a gay guy last night who said Biches a lot. It feels a little foreign for me to say but totally relevant to the situation.
I, Samantha Najarro, am going to Paris in January. That's right.
I might have a two bedroom apartment right across from the Louvre.
I've said for a few years now that I wanted to live in Paris. I've been there twice now and didn't love it but still had this obsessive feeling that I neeeeeed to be there. I want to study art. Visit the Louvre everyday. Paint, write. Learn what it means to be a Parisian. Eat lunch on the lawn of the Tour Eiffel. Dress up, go for walks, go to museums, go to art auctions and flea markets. Drink wine. Travel to other parts of France on the weekends. Crush grapes with my feet. And, best of all speak French like I live there.
I still can recount the exact moment I realized I was listening to French, spoken by the French. I was on my first trip to Spain with just my Dad. He wanted to take me to see his family and spend longer then 4 days a month together. I was 11 and my Grandmother had wrapped a bunch of trinkets to open on the plane, sure I would be board. We had down time in the airport so I started unwrapping and together we'd laugh at the ridiculousness of the random gifts. My Dad being a seasoned traveler shook his head at the amount of unnecessary baggage he now had to carry. I started looking around with my ears, I would point to people speaking another language and my Dad would name it. Dutch, Italian, Portuguese.
Then the voices of two women floated over to me and captivated me. I've always had a wild imagination and to me, if there was magical people like faeries that's the language they would speak. Spoken so quickly but not rushed and so soft. The word I associate with it most is 'Secret'. That language was like a soft, light gold, secret that I wanted in on. In awe I asked what they were speaking. "French, you're mother speaks French perfectly" I was surprised that that's what French sounded like. I had been learning Quebecois in school since gr. 3 and this did not resemble anything that my teachers or classmates said. Hearing that my Mom spoke French and that I wouldn't be able to ask her about it for a whole month reminded me about what she had said the previous day: I should only go away for two weeks. (I learned later she was terrified that my Dad would never bring me back) So I brought up to my dad, "what if I don't go for a month what if we only go for two weeks?" Not realizing that plane tickets cost a thousand dollars each (if not more) and thinking it was as simple as getting into a car and going home. There was some tension in his face then he took a breath I could see him choosing his words "Okay, we'll see. We'll go, see how you like it and when two weeks has passed we can go home."
That had to have been the fastest two weeks of my life. We we're sitting on the beach and the sun was getting hot. We were playing cards and it was almost time for a huge lunch made by Abuela. A daily contest in which I impressed everyone by being a bottomless pit. Pialla, Fresh fish, poucheros, the best tasting food after a long morning of swimming and having fun in the sun. "Okay" sighed my Dad "Tomorrow, we go home." I took a sharp inhale "WHAT!?! NO!" I was in shock. "Well," He said "It's been two weeks, I thought you wanted to just come for two weeks" I quickly replied "No, no no no no" He laughed and we talked about how the only way to travel was to go somewhere for a month. That you can't really get to know a place till you stay for at least a month.
That's when the poison of the travel bug went from sitting on my skin to being absorbed by my pores. I already decided from that trip I needed to go back and see more of Spain. See where my parents met, see France, and Switzerland, Norway, England. The Russia and Poland my Grandparents in Canada spoke of became more real.