Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Why they call it puppy love

As if the hotel in La Rochelle wasn't perfect enough, what with its kitchenette and bright yellow bathroom with an actual bathtub, I found this cutie peeking around the corner at me while I was enjoying my lovely, sun-filled patio:

Of course I had to say hello. Er, bonjour. I mean, that face. Those paws.

I can't describe to you in words the softness of his fur, or the sublimely delicious puppiness of his tongue devouring my hands.

The breed of dog I want to have when I grow up changes weekly, but this week I would definitely have to say boxer.

I went back inside and laid down to rest and watch some télé, leaving the patio door open for air. A little while later my new friend, released from his constraints, found his way in to my room (with only minimal encouragement on my part). He rushed to my side and planted himself against my leg, a giant love lump, as his owner called after him, to no avail. Shirtless, still in his bathing suit from the pool, the man alternated reprimands and apologies, as my pleas of “Mais je l'aime” were largely ignored. Collarless now, the new object of my affection was dragged unceremoniously by the scruff of the neck, padding unwillingly away from me on his giant puppy paws, as I murmured to him sweet nothings and whispered a last goodbye.

Yes, other than the lack of internet, and a transportation strike that kept me from going to the beach on the Ile de Ré, La Rochelle was practically perfect.

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Back in Paris, my first order of business was the Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore. With my usual impeccable timing, I finished the book I was reading last night, thus leaving me bookless for a three-hour train ride today, a situation I decided to rectify as soon as possible. I also had three books that I had finished reading, and though they were ones I really would have liked to keep, I cannot justify schlepping them all around Europe to my aching shoulders any longer. If I want new books, the old ones have to go, I decided. It's becoming more and more painful to keep spending money on books here. In general, I'm not a bookstore person. I'm a library person. I like my books for free; I like tearing through them and then giving them back, as quickly as possible. Nothing gained, nothing lost; it's a closed system, and that's the way I like it. Therefore it's extremely uncomfortable to acknowledge the fact that in less than a week I've spent over 30 Euros just on books. If you convert that to dollars American, that comes to somewhere around $50, and that was just for three books. It makes a thrifty bookworm like myself cringe a little.

After Shakespeare & Co, I wandered to the Blvd St. Michel and sat myself down at a bustling sidewalk café to browse through my expensive (but necessary) new purchases and partake of a refreshing beverage. Traffic swirled by, Americans were everywhere, talking loudly, the late afternoon sun beat down on me, and somewhere to my left an unseen marching band played. I was made for loving you baby and you were made for loving me. My Orangina arrived, with a glass with ice cubes, even, and the check. €5,10. Holy hell. I shuddered to think what that amounted to in dollars. Best not to. Too late. This better be the best Orangina I've ever had, I thought.

Turns out, it was.

5 comments:

  1. Puppies and books! My two most favorite things in the whole wide world! What a lovely day you had!

    I, too, am a library person, but with my insanely heavy workload these days (read as: months), I've not wanted the two-week return pressure and have succumbed to Amazon.com. Of course, I still finish each book in less than two weeks, and now, instead of returning them, I can sell them on Half.com. From a library goer, I've become an Internet buyer/seller of literature. Whatever. Gotta have my books.

    And my puppy (although he's four years old) licks each book as it enters the house. Yeah, he loves books too. Or he's giving it his seal of approval.

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  2. drooling over puppies and french marching bands while listening to the rain fall in nyc...

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  3. I am in love with that dog. (Don't tell Bailey.) I hope you don't mind, but I've decided to live vicariously through your blog for a while. I figure it beats jealousy.

    Library books are the best... I actually prefer their smell to bookstore books. I am weird, I guess.

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  4. Well, $7.90 for a small drink? No, thanks. Not even in NYC or D.C. So it's California dreamin' for this vacationer this summer.

    M

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  5. rach, have you been kidnapped by aliens? or by bratty teenagers? dish!!

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