July 12, 2008

writer’s block

Posted in paris tagged , , at 8:50 pm by Malia Yoshioka

this weekend i decided to lock myself in my room in order to get some writing done for this coming week of workshops. usually i find myself the most productive just sitting in bed with my laptop, but sometimes i need a change of scenery (and internet access) so i head down to our wi-fi enabled courtyard in the center of the hotel. it’s a peaceful setting with a wooden deck, a couple of clusters of chairs and tables, a few shrubs here and there, vines crawling up the sides of adjacent buildings, birds singing overhead.

but to tell the truth, the courtyard is not always quite so idyllic. there are often distractions, which seem to multiply as the evening goes on. the sun doesn’t go down til 10pm here, but from the windows above come the unmistakable sounds of people coming home after a long day, usually starting around 8pm or so.

a few random intrusions into my productivity today include:

  • the swedish guys on the 2nd floor. the other day, one of them had stripped his scrawny white body down to his scrawny white underwear and came to the window to smoke a cigarette and to ask if we wanted to join him at the disco that evening. um, thanks but no thanks, johan, but have a great time. today they were – surprise, surprise! – drunk again, and they started singing a song together. aww, how cute. my roommate jenn recognized it as the theme song for a Disney cartoon called the gummy bears. hmmmm…. to each his own, i guess.
  • brushes with nature. in paris it rains or threatens to rain every other hour, even in the summer, so you’re forced to carry an umbrella with you wherever you go even if the sky is blue. as a result, we’re often forced indoors when a shower pops up unexpectedly. and then there is the wildlife that’s taken up residence in the courtyard – a group of really, really large pigeons. today we brought with us some olives and cherries from the market and the pigeons hovered around our table waiting to see if we’d leave something for them. i threw an olive pit at the one who was most annoying, but he mistook my poor aim for charity and thought i was feeding him.
  • the French couple upstairs having sex. i guess since we’re in paris, i should say “making love” or something more poetic, but there was nothing poetic about the noises coming the window above us tonight! either that or someone was watching some particularly dirty porn at a very loud volume. jenn and i laughed and kept waiting to hear if she’d exclaim something in French, but it was over fairly quickly (poor thing) and so we turned our attention back to our postcards.

and then, of course, there are the distractions that we welcome, like Haifa coming by to suggest a walk to a nearby café. productivity will have to wait til tomorrow, it’s about that time for my daily dose of red wine and people watching. bon soir!



  1. Mom said,

    tooo funny:)

  2. Brianne said,

    hahahahah— i know that cartoon — Gummy Bears, bouncing here and there, and everywhere,……..they are the Gummy bears!!!

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