Friday, June 19, 2015

Paris Post


"I think it would be wonderful if you did take a trip to Paris. I think you are old enough and seem to have a rudimentary grasp on the language, but I do worry about the possibility of getting into a difficulty in a foreign country.” 

Lucy Hart watercolor 2003
My mother was trying to be supportive but at the same time thought I might not be able to handle all situations all the time.

My duffle was stuffed with all the things I thought I would need.  A couple of changes of casual clothes, one black dress and a scarf for dress up, a copy of Hemingway’s “A Movable Feast” for references as I wanted to visit all the cafes he had mentioned.  My urban city map of Paris was blotched with large red dots of the important cafes I wanted to see.

My first day in Paris was simply a dream. I was staying on the Left Bank (naturally), and found a darling small hotel that was within my budget.  It was clean and tucked into a block of bookstores and cafes along Rue de Buci.   The sidewalks were thick with little tables all of them crowded with students on a break.  I must be near the university.  I marvel at how they can drag on their Gitanes, drink coffee, and talk at the same time.
Lucy Hart watercolor 2003

I found an empty table against a front window where I could gaze out on the people walking by, scurrying to class or to the bakery across the street with windows filled with pastry art which would make the finest p√Ętissier green with envy. I was on a limited daily allowance so would have to save up for one of the delectables featured at another time.  I was scared being alone, but somehow exhilarated at the thought of being my own guide.

I pulled out my notebook and thought about Hemingway doing the very same thing, sitting at a table in Paris and writing down impressions.  The notebook was new, a gift from a school friend, who said he envied me this opportunity but wanted to see my work when I returned.  It was a leather bound book, rather too refined for this girl, but I know he had pinched a large penny to buy it for me so I will treat it with respect.  It is hard to open that first virginal page, all white and clean.  My hand was actually shaking a bit as I started out with the my first line…..”Rue de Buci and I feel completely at home.  Even though a foreigner I feel like I belong here and it is going to be a splendid daily transitory adventure.”

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Molokai


[Notes from my travel/sketch journal #1]
Eyes closed, the fragrance took me back to the first time I smelled plumeria, growing on a bush.  The smell is transporting and makes one want to linger to bathe oneself completely in its perfume.  I didn’t know at the time that they release their soft fragrance to attract sphinx moths to pollinate them. Can you imagine attracting only one species of precious moths to propagate yourself?

This was first time in Hawaii and we were staying on the island of Molokai.    I immediately liked it and thought it was completely un touristy.  
 
Reading while sunbathing.

The short flight from Honolulu on a small aircraft was an adventure in tropical air.  We rented a car from the little airport and drove over dusty red roads to the west end of the island.  The Kalua Koi resort was the usual stuff, well manicured lawns,  swimming pools and myna birds shrieking out from the coconut palms. 
Gent, not sure to go in the water.

My friend introduced to the joys of snorkeling and was I transfixed by the reef fish of so many colors, shapes and sizes.  

We had fun driving to the little communities, but now suffering the economic woes of abandoned pineapple plantations. 
  
The main town of Kanakakai had only one street light and a tidy row of small churches built by feverish missionaries coming to the island to save the natives.  


Tattooed lady, Marcia, and Rags in Molokai Hotel bar.
I marveled at the signs under cocoanut palm groves warning people if walked under the palms they would be killed by falling coconuts.   

I partially enjoyed stopping in tiny boutique hotels with small bars where only the locals seemed to meet up.