Tiny Beers in Paris: An Epic Poem

I'm just kidding about the epic poem part.

I've long been a fan of nice, clean continental lagers (those "crispy Stellas", for instance). Some of B + my earliest shenanigans revolved around getting a 12-pack of Beck's and a large pizza (for six bucks, fool!) from the now-defunct Pizza Answer in Eugene for pizza + beer date nights when we were 22/21, respectively. As I recall, we'd wind up trashed by 8pm.

In Paris, the default size of beers is 25 Centileters (=8.4 oz.). They are simply adorable. The novelty, however, ran out after the first six-pack, when it occurred to me that I am getting less beer for more money, which is shitty math. That said, some of my better alone-evenings (read: 6/7 nights a week, generally) have revolved around my fondness for golden lagers from the little market down the street.
  • Carlsberg is just delicious.
  • Kronenbourg is kind of mediocre...but it's really cheap.
  • Stella Artois is great.
Right now, for instance, I'm listening to Elvis Costello and mixing up a batch of my pasta-sauce-from-scratch that has made me the toast of the Ile de France,* accompanied by some tiny beers and a backup bottle of 2-euro wine.

Being alone is just fucked. I'm not complaining this time, just commenting. I have to hand it to my single friends: I've been paired up for so long (since I was 16, essentially) that I have no sense of how hallucinatorily weird it is to spend lots of time by yourself. In a way, it's surprising that more people don't routinely smoke a huge load of opium and paint their walls with the blood of captured pigeons, or the equivalent. I mean...I watched four hours of Trailer Park Boys the other night.

In my more lucid moments, I wonder how just being in Paris could make this less like living alone in...Norwich. I go on walks, I admire the unique cast of the light, I gaze appreciatively at the Seine, but I still end up in my apartment drinking tiny beers sooner than later.

Research update next time.

* I'm also making that part up.


Chrissy said...

Dude, TPB is the SHIT though, so things could be worse!

ransom said...

I too am listening to Elvis Costello! Though apart from that, all is different. I am drinking water from a ubiquitous Nalgene bottle. While it is much larger than your bottle of beer, it is not enough larger to make up for how little it is beer.

SuperJew said...

Actually we single people DO paint our walls with the blood of pigeons! You totally hit that nail on the head sir. ;) Yeah, being alone is no fun. But I think it's not just the partner vs. no partner that gets tough as we get older, I think having your close friends nearby makes a huge difference too. That's why this transient Ph.D. thing bites the big one.

Matto said...

I have to agree on the Stella thing. The one and only place that I've been a "regular" at was a small pub north of Cambridge. When I entered, they'd fire up the tap of Stella. Yummm. As far as the alone thing goes, I prefer goat's blood and hoppy ales.

Trust in Steel said...

Being alone has the advantage I can view myself as a self-contained unit, but ultimately all that matters to me is my daughter anyway. So I guess I don't really count as alone or self-contained.

Rachel said...

I knew the network schedules down pat when I lived alone in Eugene. :) Living alone in Austria didn't count because I shared a house in both places I lived and I had my cat. Which really helped. I feel your pain. But really, you can get a lot done when you live alone too, this last fall, I completed FIVE large scrapbooks. That's a lot of scrapbooks. :D

Libby said...

I appreciate your recognition of the fact that us singles don't always have it so awesome.

Dolce Vita said...

I think you need to develop a skill other than researching/writing. I just got an update from B's blog and, as always, I was impressed with the ways she fills those otherwise quite hours (of course, she also has the furry one). I think she needs to send you ambient sound from your SC home; you'll feel like you're there in the thick of beetlegirl creativity.

noncoupable said...

I lived by myself in Taiwan and in Switzerland... yes, it's lonely. (Oh yeah and I don't have a partner so I guess I'm just always lonely.) At the same time, it's kind of interesting to discover yourself--and you get to think a lot more about how much you appreciate the little things, and how luck you are to have B + your friends. We'll see you soon... Hang in there. :-)