cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sojourn to Save My True Love--

His name is Nikon D 70.
Breath breath my peers of the photographing and blogging community! I will say this quick-- he has and never will be lost, but rather one of his appendages went astray for a short period--id est my largest lens, which, being a 300 sadly is not that large at all, though is quite dear (and expensive) to me all the same. Those of you in my closest confidences know of this grievous offense committed several weeks ago, but to all I must now confess, and plug a tourism add for a Parisian suburb that I believe may do the fig man some justice.

I lied about the tourism add, attendez and all will be explained. On the weekend market trip to Germany and Holland in early December--some of you may remember reading of the exploits--I, sadly, and for the first time, left behind a part of my camera. I will set you the plot: sitting at my desk, most likely typing an over dramatic blog entry as I am doing now, my eyes meander guilelessly to the (one) shelf in this cupboard of a room and notice the empty spot. Huh. Wheres that lens. After 15 seconds it is determined to not be in this cupboard, therefore there is only one thing: it was stolen, as I could never--never lose anything concerning the word camera. The logical solution, I mused, as I never even switched lenses as the trip was curt. As much as I denied the possibility of my own bastard foolishness at leaving an object, I had nothing to attempt, and after walking in tiny circles a call to the hotel in Germany was made. "Gutentag Geisler Hotel" -"Erm, ja, hallo, eh, Ich kann nicht Deutsch sprechen, can. you. speak. english. by. any. chance?" -"Oh, yes." -"Great! I was in you hotel last weekend with a big group from Paris and--" -"Yes we have rooms this saturday how many?" --"No no, I was already there, the last weekend, you see--" -"Not expensive if you say now" --"Ay! No I was There already." -"Oh you were here already." -"Yes and I left something in the room, I think--" --"Can you call tomorrow? I don't speak English" --"Oh, yes of course I--" --"Do you speak Spanish?" -"...No." --"French?" --"Oui! je parle la francais--monsieur je pense que j'ai perdu quelque--" "Too bad I can't speak French." and so it ensued until an email was sent.

Environ one week later, the return was received: "Monsieur (eh, Mallory is toujours on this continent a mans name) camera black thing found. Sent with another driver today. His name is G. Find your travel agency. We helped you, hope it worked. Regards." Why--I had resolved and accepted the loss, swallowed (actually wiped, lets not lie now, I may be slightly calloused but I would weep for my camera) the tears away as a case of mere bad luck for a material object. But it has come back to me! But then--I did let it fall from my bag, oh my darling how I have betrayed you!

Running to the travel agency office. Wrong building, accross the street madame. Next building--ah, the man at the desk has no idea what I am talking about. I show him the drivers name. "Ah yes, I'll give you his company's number." Call the company--telephone conversation follows as one above, (in French) "I lost something at a hotel, but one of your drivers has it, its a .....(whats the word for lens!)...its a thing for the front of a camera." -"You lost your camera?" -"No, its a black thing for a camera, it--" -"A black camera bag?" -"No, it goes on the face, makes the things bigger, it is long, and spins, and--" -"A zoom." -"Yes!" -"I will call you tomorrow." What follows is that yes my lens had been found, trucked around with a bus driver, stowed at his house, and then transfered to the bus company's location. I was given the address at where to retrieve it: sadly not in Paris.

Excuse me--where the hell am I? 7hoo, cold, dark, RER C out of Paris--I find myself in ghost town walking along a deserted industrial dirt road that appears to never end. Pinned between running rail tracks and chain link encased packing yards, I walk the road for a near 40 minutes. Parisian suburb, Villeneuve le-Roi just East of Orly. Brilliant. I don't often have thoughts of death, there was that time in Oregon when out of bounds skiing with that frozen river...that night in the park followed home by...that surgery when...no I am a very safe person. This is just a nice little street with lovely dogs ready to break free of their ropes--am I supposed to be here? Perhaps I will be arrested. That would be nice. I stop in the middle of the road: why am I constantly finding myself in situations like these? Why--suddenly I burst into laughter. If any passersby were to view this (though I do not believe there was a human for miles) I would be taken for a schizophrenic presently escaped from the hospital. Oh thats enough of that. finally, the address, where is the doorbell? Sit and wait. A delivery truck comes, and a little boy pops out--with my lens. That is over.

Now let us find the city center. I have a skip in my step to discover this quaint town. I take it back. There is nothing to be found here. But I must find breakfast. Bakery, bakery, brasserie, ah fruit man! Two apples and 7 dried figs please. No 8, for I am very hungry. "Are you from England?" No. "Ah I get you best apples my American!" I speak French." "I know, but I like English, I want learn English." Go to America I tell him, I came here to speak French. --Though the novelty I am, it becomes tiresome after months of wishing to improve my French that the locals everywhere (though the man was very confused as to why I was at his fruit stand at 8:00 am in the middle of no where) wish to speak English. Oh well, English it is--thank you very much sir, have a wonderful day and say hello to your family.

The lens is back, have I atoned for my sin, perhaps it was the industrial walk, perhaps I just finally got damn lucky. A lens is just a lens, just an object, though an object I am very glad to have back--as it is tiresome to photograph food without an adequate zoom. I am blissfully happy and thankful for such a very chance-ful turn of events. However, my Nikon, if he were to be misplaced, I may in fact be persuaded to kill. Yes. But, my friends, that could never happen. Stop smiling.

A bientôt

2 comments:

Ryan said...

I'm still smiling b/c I can't stop laughing! I just started digital camera shopping because mine has officially been put to rest, just like my truck, gesh.

Are these Nikon's good? Hehe, I don't think I really have to ask though :)

Núria said...

Your story is glorious!!!!

Many years ago I went to Seville for tourism and when I was ready to leave the city for Granada, I noticed all the pictures I had taken were gone (I opened the camera by mistake - old camera). I Stayed for an extra day and did same streets, same churches, same squares, same pictures. Couldn't leave without them!!! I understand your assasin's thoughts!

I'm getting a restaurant list ready for you with different budget preferences.