This morning, I got up early to ride the number four Metro to Saint Germaine des Pres. Then, winding my way through a maze of narrow streets, I found it, Dore, Dore, my favorite shop to buy stockings and socks. This was my second try. I'd failed Saturday evening. I'd found the shop's website, announcing hours, Monday through Saturday, nine to seven. But I'm not buying stockings, I'm sitting at a bistro next door, drinking a double espresso and eating baguette with butter and jam. I am waiting, but I understand my hopes are in vain. Speaking French and see-sawing his palm, my waiter had said, "Mondays, sometimes, yes, sometimes no."
So, I sit and I write, preparing for my interview with a woman I will meet this afternoon. She was a hidden child during World War Two, hidden in full view in an orphanage run by the Eclaire Israelites of France, the Jewish Scouts. The orphanage was a rented house in the main square of a Beaulieu sur Dordogne, a village in southwest France. I am writing about this village, about another villages in south west France. About Jews who took refuge in both places. Beaulieu was a friendly village for Jews. I like learning that.
I check the shop one more time.
Ah, Paris. Ah, the French.