I'm back on the Eurostar to one my favorite cities tonight: lovely Paris, nearly four months after my last trip.
Obviously, it's a real thrill to be heading back, even though it's yet again one of those short, patented 24-hours-only-make-them-count business trips.
But what I'm thinking about at this precise moment is: envy.
Specifically, I am coveting my seatmate's can of Orangina.
I'm not sure why. I rarely drink soda these days. And while I enjoy an occasional Orangina as much as the next person, it's not like it's my standard go-to beverage or anything. But for some reason, the very thought of a nicely refreshing, citrusy, sparkling drink is doing it for me right now.
Maybe because it's a French soda, and we're on our way to France right now. I associate Orangina with France, immediately. It's not just a citrusy soda in my mind--it's a citrusy French soda. When I was growing up in French-speaking Switzerland, I vividly remember the television commercials with the tag line, "secoue, secoue-moi!" (which means "Shake, shake me!"), delivered in this unnaturally high female voice that sounded just absolutely delighted to be shaken up. I mean, "secoue, secoue-moi" was basically the French-speaking child's version of "shaken, not stirred." A culturally refined child would never, ever stir an Orangina, after all.
So maybe I'm just envious that he had the foresight of buying a French soda outside of France, before going TO France and thereby essentially importing one of France's greatest and most delectable exports back to the homeland. Why didn't I think of that? Why do I never bring Lindt chocolate back to Switzerland, or peanut butter M&Ms back to the United States?
I'm not sure why this is suddenly meaningful to me in any way whatsoever, but it just seems to me to be a very French thing to do, to seek out French consumables even when outside of France. Which means this man probably is French, and thereby automatically more cultured than I am, as I sit here sipping my Marks & Spencer-branded still water.
Maybe I'll overcompensate tonight. Maybe I'll go straight from the train station to a brasserie and order some escargots and some millefeuille for dessert, and a bottle of Bordeaux and some pommes frites.
Or maybe I'll just walk to the nearest newsstand and buy an Orangina.