I met a wonderful smart and handsome guy named Marc (see, Lola, I DO try…) on Easter Sunday, and the next day we took a walking tour throug the Paris he wanted to show me. The photos of me nicely posed on a bridge over the Seine (above), and in front of La Colonne at Place Vendome and the Palais de Justice (below) were taken by him. Sadly, we lost touch after that. 😦

What I realized I love about the developed world (European version):

–great trains that run on time

–bathrooms in the trains that are other than disgusting

–plentiful supplies of toilet paper in said bathrooms

–drinking water straight from the tap!

–ability, even in larger cities, to go for extended runs without asphyxiating oneself

–tennis on television!!!!!!

–supermarkets full of great cheeses, pastas, sauces

–many varieties of olives! (Colombo featured green and black, period; some Beijing foreign-food marts would have kalamata or imported Italian olives of OK quality)

–clean streets usually free of dog souvenirs

–the ability to be anonymous, since my skin color doesn’t make me stand out

What I (already) miss about the developing world:

-whole families coming home from work and school together on one motorcycle

–negotiable pricing in most places

–outdoor fruit and vegetable markets that kick butt

–vibrant community life on the streets, even in the big cities: from Beijing grandpas in their pj’s out walking their birdcages in the morning, to the neighborhood cricket boys in Colombo and everything in between

–bicycle fish vendors in Sri Lanka’s towns and villages

–learning new things every single day

— the sense of being special because my skin color makes me stand out

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