has the magic worn off? the sad truth and some non-food pictures

For years I could travel and eat and drink and drink and eat and drink and travel with no ill effects. I drank tap water in Rajastan (thinking, what's the worst that could happen, so I'll lose 5 pounds?) -- I was fine. I ate fat and starch in Eastern Europe - I was fine. I ate salads in Cambodia, street food in China - I was fine. I downed glass after glass of beverages (what's the worst that can happen, I'll need to call a car?) - I was fine. Foie gras, butter, scallops, potatoes cooked in goose fat, chocolate -- I concluded that one didn't gain weight travelling because of the state of heightened alertness, because I was almost always in motion when not sitting at a table, dodging traffic, darting in and out of stores, climbing stairs, etc etc etc. And of course when you're doing that kind of stuff between meals, you're not eating.

And then it caught up with me.

The first sign of trouble: Certain once-loved jeans that were comfortable when setting off, could not be worn on the plane home. Well, they could only I wanted to wear them closed. And anyone who's worked on airplanes knows that the time comes when you blow up like a balloon on takeoff and do not immediately deflate upon landing. So, OK, a week or 10 days to de-puff. Salt is not my friend (but I knew that).

And then the de-puffing, well, didn't.

I've been a dark gray mood ring, as Dani once described the state of things, since I got back from France, apparently the magical property of travel that prevents weight gain because you're always on the go - has worn off without warning, and I've been living in my sad fat clothes while I try to reverse the awful truth. Sigh. So even though there are lovely restaurant pictures in my iPhone, I'll continue to defer the food posts.



However, that doesn't mean I didn't take other pictures. One of the things I love about being in Paris is that no matter how modern and commercial the area, there are almost always alleys and courtyards that remind you you're really in Paris. Above are some random shots I grabbed as we were going up the external escalator of the Pompidou Museum.

and here are some glimpses of the more amusing art on exhibit indoors:


So while I was bemused to see a Theory store on the Rue St-Honoré,
just across the street from Colette,


I was glad to see that Colette continues to feature whimsy and irony.

a block or two further on, clinging to the side of the Eglise St. Roch 
(St Rocco's Church), is a street that suggests Parisian life in another era.






In many large cities, my own included, people pay lip service to the treasures of the past and build towering stacks of investment properties that will never be lived in, glass ice cubes of offices that deal in imaginary or imagined assets... and the sandwich shop, the hardware store, the independent  druggist - well, you're away for two or three weeks and they've vanished and still more overpriced shoe stores have moved in. I love me some cute shoes, but still...  I'm not particularly nostalgic for the times in which I grew up, except sometimes for the prices of stuff. And for the home-made potato salad at a long-gone neighborhood store.

But is there a word for nostalgia about times further past, about houses one couldn't possibly have lived in, about a grace and elegance one couldn't possibly have achieved, about sights and smells that were already vanishing in Nana's day? Kind of a weird déja vu, maybe. And a rather selective sentimental wish list, especially about the aromas, come to think of it.

14 comments:

  1. Not the dark gray mood ring state! I hope that goes away quickly Fred, you do seem a bit down. Maybe you should throw out those jeans! They probably shrank up in the wash or something.
    I've also discovered that salt is not my friend even though I thought it was my best friend. I have to avoid it or I have puffy eyelids, that was never a problem before?

    That type of nostalgia does need a name of its own!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh, no, another place to puff up...

      I cook without salt, I've noticed that most people don't notice the difference and real salt-lovers put it on their food without tasting first. Eating out, therefore, means I spend the next day or two drinking water. Sigh.

      Delete
  2. Ah Fred, speaking as a woman with a definite muffin top over the last two years I can relate. But I walk and don't worry about it and I adore these pictures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never noticed a muffin top on you, Wendy!

      Delete
  3. I agree with Dani, those jeans must have shrunk so you need to get rid of them!
    Sorry you're in a grey mood - I always remember November being a bit of a month of gloom in the Northern Hemi...
    Hope your mood brightens x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well, ruth, the sun is finally shining today, and I'm throwing regret to the winds and indulging in lunch at a favorite barbecue pit. So there.

      Delete
  4. Oh darling we shall commiserate together next vist to NYC. The adventures are worth the extra pound/pounds. You are wonderfully made and thought of with the highest regards. Much, much love baby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you, dear BB, my next adventure will be getting off a plane and cooking Thksgvg dinner the next day. Thank goodness for delivery services!

      Delete
  5. The de bloat will come! Have faith drink waster and have a croissant as per the double negative makes a positive rule! Lovely pictures and yes nostalgia is a funny one. People only see the sanitizer bits of Paris but forgets it was one of the smelliest cities on earth and royalty only visited once a year purely to perform a duty then promptly left.i reckon Paris peaked 20 years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always attributed the so-called "sexual revolution" not so much to the Pill but to the fact that it occurred about the same time men started wearing antiperspirants.

      Delete
  6. Those jeans need to go. Just keep moving, lots of water and get your veggies on. You have such good fortune to be able to travel and explore the world, don't let something like a snug pair of jeans distract you from the next adventure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, I shall cheer up and go shopping!

      Delete
  7. Oh WFF...I can completely relate, as the same things happens to me anytime I take an extended trip. Actually, it happens to me on a regular basis even when I'm just staying at home. Try not to think about it too much, drink plenty of water, and perhaps only eat carbs like bread and pasta at only one of your meals each day. Also, avoid those jeans for now, and take time to enjoy planning your next adventure. You are so fortunate to be able to travel like you do, so try not to let some extra pounds picked up on one of your adventures get you down. Not to mention, you are so much more than just the numbers on a scale or the size of your jeans, so try not to let them affect the way you feel about yourself. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great pictures. I just rolled off a plane from Hawaii. How did fish and pineapple become so fattening? I'm on a gruel diet until Christmas. Dark and gray indeed!

    ReplyDelete

As Alice Roosevelt Longworth said, if you've got anything bad to say, sit next to me! No, really, please remember to be kind, and don't say anything fred's mother would not approve of (Diner's mom didn't approve of anything. Including fred.)
Wellfedfred and the Whining Diner reserve the right to edit or delete any comments submitted to this blog without notice if we find:
1. Comments deemed to be spam or questionable spam
2. Comments including profanity or objectionable language
3. Comments containing concepts that could be deemed offensive
4. Comments that attack a person individually
and since there's been a flood of spam lately, we're trying the Robot thing to see if we can block some spam...