Monday September 24

I have just printed my boarding pass to Paris tomorrow evening. Was hoping to possibly change my seat, but all seat changes (for my class of passenger?) at the airport check-in, so that means I have to go by airport check-in. Perhaps I would have anyway—I don’t know yet whether I will need more than a carry-on.

Meanwhile, the sun is out and I am going to take my last bike ride, up Sandhill, on up Alpine to Portola Valley and, if I can, the ‘green gate.’ If I can, because the last bit is quite steep. Still, it would be good to do it once more before I leave. Lots of walking in Paris, but the only biking—without getting out of the city—is flat on city bikes and I’m not sure I’m ready for the dangers of Paris traffic. Years ago, when I learned to drive a car in the city, I ended up quite comfortable circling the Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) and the Porte Maillot, remembering not to make eye contact with any other drivers, unless I wanted to be edged out of my place in the race. If they think you aren’t paying attention to them, they give you a pass. Of course, out of the corner of your eye, you have an eye on everything going on around you—the insults, the fingers, the rudeness, which, frankly, I have never learned to enjoy; ie, not to take personally. Once, I recall, I told my dentist that taxi driver had shouted obscenities at me in a traffic jam, and he thought that was funny. Not me, as witness, I’m still traumatised. ‘What did you want me to do?’ I asked him, ‘Tell him to fuck off.’ Well, that shocked him. That was the good part.