October 28, 2009
Day One: A Sandwich Changes My Life
Getting here was a bit of a haul. I took the metro, and I had a huge bag, and I hadn't slept. Fortunately, even though I couldn't occupy my place until 4 p.m., I was able to drop off my bags around 11, and venture off into the city.
And I was hungry. Like borderline quesy hungry. I lectured myself to get the first thing that looked decent (I tend to get really picky when I travel—like if every meal isn't special I've somehow failed), but ended up wandering up and down the Rue Mouffetard, an open-air market street one block over from my new abode.
Finally, something caught my eye. At a boulangerie (bakery) there were some simple—but special!—looking sandwiches. One of them had some kind of soppresata-lookin' cured meat deal going on (a serious weakness of mine), plus greens, cornichons and butter (all things I also like). The woman behind the counter slid the sammy into a slim plastic bag, handed it over, and, as I walked away, I immediately started eating.
I took my first bite out of hunger, not hoping for any kind of transcendent culinary experience. Then I started giggling. Then I almost started to scream.
Now, I love bread. A lot. But I guess I only thought bread could be so good. I had heard tales, obvs, of the special magic conjured by a Parisian baguette, but I had assumed it would be a simple step up. Well, this bread was Jimmy Rollins, and everything I have ever had before was Jonathan Broxton. It shamed them. I simply could not get over it. And don't even get me started on the tart sweetness of the cornichons against the fatty meat!
This is gonna be a great trip. Tonight I'm watching the World Series at a Canadian sports bar called The Moose...