Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This is my second attempt to post something. The other day I wrote a few lines but I touched a wrong key on the old Mac keyboard of the computer in the apartment that I rent and everything disappeared. Now I found a computer with a more or less ( it is still French, but I got used to the location of the letters, forgive me if I write q instead of a ) normal, working keyboard. I am fine, thank you, having one of the times of my life. I arrived on Sunday around 5.30 AM in Paris. The take-off was a bit bumpy ( I left Israel in the middle of a rain storm ) but the rest of the flight was very smooth, and the weather here was and remains excellent, cold but clear. This morning there was a slight drizzle, but that was probably only so that I did not take my umbrella with me for nothing. I took the RER from the airport, had breakfast at the Gare du Nord, and from there continued to the 9th arrondissement. I met the owner of the apartment at 10 AM, got organized, did some very basic shopping, called my wife and parents, and went to bed early, having skipped a whole night. The three days that I have been working now have been highly productive. Of the four archives that I want/have to visit I finished working at one, to one of them ( it is open only one day a week, I worked there yesterday ) I will have to return for one morning next week, tomorrow morning or afternoon I will finish what I intended to do at the third archive/library, so I will have this Friday and almost all of next week ( including Sunday ) to work at the fourth. I need at least three whole days for that archive, but the extra time will give me the opportunity to consult some sources that I did not have time for during my last stay in Paris.
None of the archives opens before 9.15, so I can sleep until 8 AM, shower, have a quiet breakfast ( baguette or rolls, fresh coffee, fresh orange juice from a bottle, Edam cheese - you will find Edam, Gouda, Leerdammer in almost any supermarket here -, jam, one of the previous guests at the apartment, probably American or Dutch, even left a jar of Calvé peanut butter ) and go to work. During the day I take digital pictures of the various documents ( mostly reports of meetings of the executive committees of major French-Jewish organizations ), after I come home in the early evening and have dinner I download the hundreds of pictures of that day on my laptop, organize everything, give every picture a unique name, and every time I finish an archive or periodical etc. I burn those data on two identical CD-ROMs. I finish working around 11PM, have a quick shower and fall asleep using the sleep function on the apartment's stereo ( I brought some compilations with classical and other quiet music with me ).
O.k., I am off again. Pictures will be posted only after I return home again.

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