Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

The Mute Ciao

I cannot breathe and I cannot speak.  My voice is totally gone.  I mean. TOTALLY GONE.

Mostly, because of Spain, friends, and football.  I got sick on Monday night.  It was one of those, uh oh my throat is a little scratchy things.  You know, the ones where you hope than maybe you just breathed a little too much exhaust that day, and that it will be all gone in the morning, only to sleep 12 hours and then wake up all sweaty realizing it is not just exhaust.  But a full on, energy sucking, nice day destroying, Spring cold.

So, basically I stayed in bed all day on Tuesday.  It was good for my budget, at least.  In the evening, thank goodness (because I was getting really sick of reading) the movie “Murder on the Orient Express” came on, in English with no subtitles.  So.  Can anyone answer this question that has been nagging at me since?  Why on earth would 12 people commit a murder when they knew Hercule Poirot was on the freeking train?  Why?  I think I first saw this movie when I was 10 or something, because I remembered they all did it.  (Or maybe, that is the case in many Agatha Christie mysteries, except not in Evil Under the Sun, because I just watched that most hilarious movie with my mom and grandma last Christmas and I was sure they all did it, but they all didn’t.) Anyway, watching this movie certainly took the sting out of being bedridden.  Especially Wendy Hiller, who’s performance is so SCENE SHATTERING that she basically annihilates anything in her path.  One sentence from her may sound like “she was my GAWD DAUGHTER” (take about 3 minutes to say that line to get the full idea) but what it really means is LAUREN BACALL, PLEASE LET ME SHOW YOU HOW TO DELIVER A LINE.”  Most hilarious.  If you have ever seen Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, I think now I know where Gary Oldman got his motivation.  Oldman’s Dracula + Hiller’s Ancient Russian Princess = separated at birth.

Anyway.  Yesterday I woke up a little better, but not much.  A trip to the store completely drained me of any energy I woke up with. But in the evening was the Spanish Copa del Rey football cup, Barcelona vs. Madrid, and there was going to be a party happening across the river, at a restaurant called Dans Les Landes.  I met Nancy and David there last Saturday for lunch, and it was AWESOME.  And they had SPANISH DUDES working there.  So, our plan for watching the game got switched from a pizzeria to this place, in, well, about 20 seconds.  We also had Scott and Andrea, fellow slow travelers from Canada, meeting us there.  And Sophie, who I have met on several occasions already and is a walking encyclopedia of food, not to mention other things, and does these trippy tea rituals after dinner, which are almost as baffling as Murder on the Orient Express.

How could I miss that?  I couldn’t.  I knew that I had to motivate myself to get over there, and while the journey was not easy (hot metro, drenched in sweat, worried about staying upright) once I got to the restaurant all was well.  I stayed upright.  I ate a ton of food.  Duck hearts, seared in olive oil (the first time I had these, on Saturday, it was such a revelation that I almost Did Not Stay Upright), sardine rilletes with pimenton, insane little croissants with some kind of melted orgasm in them, the most fantastic caesar salad with white truffle oil… there was a lot more.  Not to mention, a lot of wine.  Basically, it was like watching the super bowl, but with some people from Barcelona at the bar next to you, also some really animated Chinese dudes drinking out of coca cola bottles with straws, and some French youngsters drinking out of the economy magnum sized bottle of wine (which I immediately knew, we should have also done) and going out to smoke every 15 minutes.  Our team – Barcelona – lost.  But I don’t begrudge Madrid the win, because in the end, I am just happy that somebody wins.

Then it was late.  Not too late to not make the last metro, but too late not to try not to. I had an ambitious thirst for a cab ride, one that could not be quenched, so I just stayed in the bar with Scott and Andrea until it was too late to even try.

What a ride.  It was a religious experience, this cab ride.  I am serious.  Every cell in my body was happy.  Tired, sick, but happy.  The back seat of a cab never felt so comfortable, and whatever crappy pop music the cabbie had on was like the most genius symphony.  The windows were down, warm air outside, and then, there was the train.

I love the train that crosses over the Seine by the Gare d’ Austerlitz train station.  I love it.  It comes out of the metro station into the bright light, and crosses over, and then is gone again.  I love being on it, and I love watching from the banks of the river.  I have no idea why I have this particular fascination with this particular train, but I do.  It slays me.

So last night, crossing over the river in my comfy seat, with the cool breeze from the water coming into the cab, there it is, on the next bridge, heading in the opposite direction.  The last metro.  Am I in a movie?  Because, sometimes, it kind of feels that way.

Then I woke up with no voice.  Another hot, beautiful day.  (When I travel, I always like to bring a little California weather with me.  The locals always appreciate it.) But though I have no voice, I do have energy.  So I head out into the day.

I hope you have made it this far because this next part is a little amusing.  I have a red tank top that I bought in Italy some years ago, that has the Coca Cola logo but instead of saying Coca Cola, it says Ciao Ciao.  You know, humor.  So I learned something today.  You want to get some attention from the dudes in this town?  Wear the Coca Cola logo across your chest.  Even if it doesn’t even say that. I went to the market at Richard Lenoir Blvd.  Up and down the Blvd, it was like “Coca Cola! Try my oranges!” “Coca Cola! Try my Pineapples!”  I swear.  I have never got so many offerings of fruit samples in my life.  But then when I got to the Italian booth in the market, the guy said “Ciao.”  It doesn’t end.  I was walking up my street, and there was this dude I actually have noticed before, due to his Vuarnet Sunglasses T Shirt (anyone, and I mean ANYONE who ever surfed, skied, or sunbathed in California in the 1980s had a pair of those sunglasses, but last time I checked, those were the 1980s).  I was walking by and he was like, “hey, Coca Cola!”  Or maybe it was “hey want to get some Coca Cola” or “do you like Coca Cola” or even possibly, “do you want to snort some coke?” but in my mind I was like, you know, you are cute and I could possibly get past the Vuarnet T shirt.  But not being able to read is past my comfort zone.

There is a building on my way to my Bastille canal afternoon hanging spot where blind people live, so there are always some blind people walking around with their tapping sticks.  I passed by one guy today, blind, with his stick.  But his eyes went straight to the Ciao Ciao.  What is UP with that?

Sorry to be so long winded.  Maybe it is because I can’t actually speak, that I feel the need to write so much. Tomorrow it is suppose to be even hotter, and I hope that I will be in good form to take advantage.  Onward.

11 Responses to “The Mute Ciao”

  1. Jane Says:

    A truly inspired, hysterical post. Loved it all…croissants with some kind of melted orgasm in them..a line to be remembered. Do hope your voice is back tomorrow–or maybe not as then you might write again.

  2. marjorie garland Says:

    somebody should make that a movie….. who will play your part?

  3. Tourmama Says:

    Thank you Shannon, for continuing to entertain me mightily! Glad you are feeling better — keep on keepin’ on, and keep on sharing your wonderful adventures with us.

  4. nancyhol Says:

    Shannon, your life is never boring – always something strange and wonderful going on!

    I hope we have some of those same adventures in Venice. We could all learn sign language if you are still mute.

  5. Pauline Says:

    I lost my voice on our last October trip to France, when we were with Chris.

  6. Marian Says:

    Shannon —– This is Poptarticus at its best. I am still smiling after reading this. Geez, you may not be able to talk but you sure can write. I love how your blog is not so much about YOU (not that you are not wonderful) but about what you see around you.

  7. Tiffany Says:

    You just get better and better…….

  8. Cindy Ruth Says:

    Shannon-Somehow I missed your blogging from Paris. Just found your site tonight, and have been reading all of your posts catching up on your trip. I’m so enjoying reading about your great adventure. Hope your voice is back soon. Looking forward to reading about more of your adventures.

  9. Beth (mischievous) Says:

    I am now officially addicted to your blog. I eagerly check it daily and am so excited when there’s a new post! I love hearing about the daily trials and tribulations of living in a foreign city and how much fun you have with it. You seriously should think about writing a book about your Year of Living Without a Home — especially if you go to Istanbul!

  10. Eden Says:

    Thank you, Shannon for taking us on this wonderful adventure with you. Love reading your blog, but you knew that already.

    Get well soon.

  11. Kathy (Trekcapri) Says:

    Hi Shannon, this was great! Your comment on the Vaurnet sunglasses. 🙂 Sorry you lost your voice and were under the weather.

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