It's the bus...run!
Every morning, the same ritual. Rushing out of the front door just in time to see the No.22 bus pass in front of our nose before we sprint down the avenue pass the huge scaffoldings avoiding cars driving in and out of garages to the near bus stop.
A friendly "Bonjour Monsieur" to the driver albeit slightly out of breath. A smile to the two Moroccan ladies who's Arabic chatter always accompanies us throughout the bus ride. A greeting to the two Philippine girls who are off to work. A little chat with the Russian mum and her three small kids.
After riding the same route to school with the public bus every morning at 8:35 for the past three years, we know the characters sitting in every row. A feeling of familiarity and therefore a tiny little bit like home.
We know who gets on at which stop and who gets off where. We invent stories about our fellow bus riders' lives. We check out the window display every morning of the most dazzling haute couture shop, deciding which dress we would dare to wear. In winter, we see the Christmas trees all bundled up lying in front of the florists' and in spring watch the men dressed in business suits sprinting to grab the last Velib bike.
I love the early morning bus rides with my daughter even though I'm not much of a morning person. She, on the other hand, never stops talking. What does a lawyer do? What is an insurance? Please explain what M.Holland does? Heavy duty subjects for an 11 year old.
I explain as best I can while walking the last stretch to school. Many a times we decide we need to google a particular question after school and then forget what it was we were suppose to look up.
However, we never ever forget to turn towards La Grande Dame when the bus drives past her across the enormous Place de Trocadero and every morning with a little meditation and a smile, we greet la Tour Eiffel feeling grateful for living in such a beautiful city.
Expat Daughter started Secondary School this week and is off to school by herself.
I miss our morning bus rides more than she will ever know!