the Bois de Boulogne. M. Fallaud tried to make love
to me; Mme. Fallaud took no interest in her home and chatted interminably on
the telephone with her friends. I took care of four-year-old Dominique and six
-year-old Marc. I also learned how to make pies and more pies. I
ventured to speak French only when I went shopping, for I met only foreigners
at the Alliance and was too scared to talk to the fellows who came up to me in
the Latin Quarter, attracted by the map of Paris that marked me as a stranger.
I still hardly knew the city that so enchanted me. What a discovery!
How different from those monotonous new apartment houses of West Berlin. I
loved to walk along the old streets of the Marais or the ones between the Seine
and the boulevard Saint-Germain with my nose in the air, admiring the
harmonious façades, each with its own personality. Here people were
animated, with a thirst for life, each different from the others. A walk along
the boulevard Saint-Germain or the Champs-Elysées was like going to a
play. I had then, and I still have, a feeling that there was a solid bond
between the city and me, and that in Paris I would blossom.
afternoon, I was waiting, as usual, for the Metro at 1:15 P.M. at the
Porte-de-Saint-Cloud station. I felt someone staring at me and looked up to see
a dark haired young man in a checked suit, with a briefcase in his hand.
"Are you English?" he asked.
Of course it was a trap. He was
later to tell me that German girls always say "no" to that question. Afterwards
it's too late to remain silent.
At the Sèvres-Babylone station
he got off to go to the School of Political Science with my telephone
number. Three days later he called me, and I was happy. We went to see "Never
on Sunday" on the rue du Colisée.
Serge was finishing his
education, and he was almost as poor as I. I liked him at once for his mixture
of seriousness and imagination. On a bench in the Bois I learned that he was
Jewish and that he had lost his father at Auschwitz. I was surprised and moved,
but also in a certain sense shrank back a little. In Berlin I had hardly heard
anything good about the Jews. Why was this complication befalling me now? But
Serge's expression had a warmth that I have never stopped giving in to; I
cuddled up to him.