I now have more than just the clothes on my back! This morning I went out to a department store and bought some clothes to wear: socks, underwear, a t-shirt, pajama bottoms, slippers. Oh yes, and razors! Things are not cheap in Paris and the items added up to 63 €. Yes, I expect Air France to reimburse me fully. Five days of wearing the same clothes was a tad inconvenient, and I still don't know when I'll be able to collect my luggage.
On a happier note, two people celebrated birthdays at St-Serge today, so there was a very nice lunch in the dining hall of the seminary. This being France, there was a nice red wine with the meal. This being a seminary established by Russians, there were shots of slivovits distributed as well. After the tables had been cleared and we were drinking coffee, the singing began. Last Thursday was the celebration of the Nativity of Christ here at St-Serge (and elsewhere in the Orthodox world) so Christmas hymns and carols in a variety of languages were the order of the day.
Later that afternoon, I headed out to run some errands. My goals were to get my documents photocopied so I could submit the originals to Air France with my request for reimbursement, and also to cancel my train ticket and get my money back. Successful on both accounts, with a little help again from Anne.
When I returned to St-Serge, I realized that it was only 7:00 in the evening and that I was feeling pretty good. Since the weather has warmed considerably over the past few days, I decided to head over to the Eiffel Tower again. Even if the elevators were still shut down due to the weather, I could at least get a photo or two of the tower lit up at night.
Well. The highest level is closed for some mid-winter repairs, but since the middle level is 120 m (394 feet) above street level, I had a pretty good view of things. It was wonderful. The noise from the traffic was still audible, but it actually added to the sense of peace and detachment I was experiencing. The lights of the city are very pretty and I walked around the deck several times before I finally let the cold drive me back towards the elevator.
I managed to get a few shots from on high before my camera battery finally died. And guess where my spare battery and the charger are? Well, actually I don't really know where they are, other than in my luggage. I sure hope the airline figures out how to deliver my things to me. Tomorrow morning after the ritual phone call to Air France, I intend to head over to Sainte-Chapelle again. I will ask Sharif if I can borrow his camera.
I am very glad I've had this time in Paris, but I am also very eager to get on the road to Santiago de Compostela. I had hoped to be in Roncesvalles this evening, after having walked across the border from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port. Ah well. Church starts less than five hours from now, so I suppose I ought to log out and get some sleep.