27 January, 2010

The weather

I don't know why I thought Paris was somewhere in the south, you know like in the region of Florida. It is unbelievably cold, the wind rushing through the streets, like some bad days in Chicago. I had on my fall leather coat and didn't take a hat or gloves, because the weather's been balmy, if 34 degrees Fahrenheit is balmy. But tomorrow  it is winter coat, hat, boots and gloves. And maybe even long underwear, although what I have is the tights you wear to the gym. 

I woke up at 8am, when I am supposed to leave for my class. My alarm didn't function on my telephone. I looked outside and it was still dark, like the darkest night. The sun doesn't come up until 8:28. I rushed around and left at 8:20.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a very slow walker. And I had to step it up a bit. I got myself to the metro station, bought a ticket out of the machine, and it didn't work. So I tried to tell the woman in the information desk, she checked the ticket and said it ran out last week. That took ten minutes, so instead of trying to explain to another woman in an information desk, I just bought another and got on the train. The metro is fast. In ten minutes we are at my stop and that comes after eight stops.  I  didn't get lost today, made sure I went out the right exit.   But when I got to the school there are steps to the class, four levels of steps. And the distance between floors in these old buildings is never ending. So half way, I am gasping. Can't get by breath.

Along comes a knight, a French African and he stood with me for about 15 minutes teaching me a new breathing  method. It was a miracle. Within a minute or two  I could breath normally. I was shocked at how quickly it went. I explained to him that I am an asthmatic and he said he could tell.

In case anyone is interested: You take a deep breath, as deep as you can, hold it for 2 seconds and let it out slowly.  I did that three times and wallah back to normal. He explained how it works, but it was in rapid fire French, so I will have to wait until I understand it.

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