I promised a few lines from Paris, and I am happy to oblige. We arrived in the midst of a terrible heatwave – it must be over 30 degrees centigrade – I haven't struggled so much with the outside temperature since my last August holiday in Apulia a few years ago.
I wouldn't complain if the kids were not with us – if it's tough for us, it's even tougher for them. Still, it seems as though they had a very good day at the nearby Jardin de plantes, paleontological museum and zoo. We also had a good day, and met a lot of like-minded publishers, including Liana Levy, Stock, Actes Sud and Quai Voltaire. Whenever we meet colleagues from France or Spain we realize we are working in the wrong country.
Having said that, we are not so much in love with Paris as we were, say, ten or twelve years ago. We don't think we could live here. I don't know if it's got to do with us – maybe we are getting older – but the city appears to have lost much of his charm and romantic atmosphere. And the Parisians' proverbial hauteur seems to have got worse.
I read today's blog by Tibor Fischer on Me and My Big Mouth, and I smiled when he described London as unliveable. He should try Paris – a place where a 20cl bottle of still water can be charged at 3.90 euros, and a small bottle of beer at 7.00 euros – where an absinthe-like cappuccino and a croissant will cost you 9.00 euros. If usury is a crime, then how can this indiscriminate ripp-off be tolerated?
I never thought I'd end up complaining on how expensive Paris is – there you go. Maybe I have been living in the UK for too long, and I have become a whinger too – too hot, too expensive... Maybe it's just time for me to go back to Italy.