The Louvre was lovely. But lunch was fantastique. While we were sitting on a malfunctioning metro this morning, a lady struck up conversation after noting our American accents. A missionary, from Maryland. And when Scott told her what we were really here for the food, she told us to take the Metro line 7 after the Louvre and get off at Place Monge and choose any cafe for fondue. And so we did. An angel? Pretty peculiar encounter, but we found ourselves nestled in a cozy bistro with interesting artwork and real French clientele, sizzling chunks of meat in oil and dipping bread in cheese over a leisurely meal. Abundance and freshness and atmosphere and tasty sauces. Memorable.
Last stop today, the Arc de Tiomphe, the monument built by Napoleon that commemorates French victory and soberly remembers the price paid. And has spectacular views.
Well, many missionaries might not blog about stopping in Paris. But we have been blessed to grasp this opportunity for culture and cuisine. I see this as the decompression chamber, the space between Africa and America where we leave one behind but do not quite encounter the other, where we equilibrate. And the truth is that while missionary life involves a lot of roaches and pus and humidity and rebels . . . it also occasionally offers an opportunity way beyond our technically-poverty-level incomes. Grateful for the paradox, or, in this case, Paris-dox.