More small successes (day 10)

I want to get back to the whole ‘recording mini successes’ idea I had a few weeks ago because I think today’s success merits it.
I finally have hot sauce again.

I don’t care if this thing cost twice as much as it would in the States. It’s mine, and I love it.

Granted, I had to shell out about 9.50eu for it at Lafayette Gourmet, but when your grocery store shelves are not lined with an abundance of different hot sauce brands, you kind of take what you can get. And it’s worth it. I still need to add a (giant) bottle of Siracha to my collection, but as I have yet to make a trip to Tang Frères in the 13th – where I am almost certain I will be able to find it at a decent, if not still somewhat annoying, price – its designated spot in my pantry remains empty.

And because multiple successes are also better than just one, I’ll add a trip to Pizzeria Popolare (of the Big Mamma restaurant group) for dinner to my list. Locals and visitors who have eaten (or attempted) to have eaten at one of the Big Mamma restaurants know that due to their policy of not taking reservations, the lines can stretch around the block, with wait times at some of the restos at times exceeding two hours. General wisdom suggests to arrive a bit before opening time to make sure you are seated right away, but luckily, this being a Tuesday, my mom and I managed to get in after only ten minutes of waiting after arriving thirty minutes after the restaurant opened. This speedy entry may also have had to do with the number of large (think 4-5 people) though incomplete parties ahead of us, but I’ll just go ahead and add tonight’s experience to my list of reasons as to why it benefits to dine solo (or à deux) in Paris.
Oh and the pizza? It was delicious, and at only 5eu for a Margherita pizza (what I ended up ordering) incredibly wallet-friendly.

The Margherita at Pizzeria Popolare (Instagram @effie143)

I’m going to get a bit political for this last success, but only because I have been asked recently what it’s like living abroad when there is so much turmoil going on at home. This success is courtesy of my phone plan, which allows me to call the US for free while in France. It’s very easy at times to forget your position as a voter while being so far removed, but voters abroad are not insignificant in number and our voices do – and will – count if we make ourselves heard. So when, for example, news started trickling in late Monday night (early Tuesday morning for me) about the impending end of DACA, I felt confident knowing that my call to my rep’s answering machine would not only not cost an arm and a leg but that I could make as many as I theoretically want. Travel is a privilege. And especially for those (like me) who have dual citizenship (US-EU in my case), the fact that I can move freely without worrying about where my home will be, or if I will even have one to return to, is something that can very easily be taken for granted, as are the numerous benefits this movement will bring to my education and future career opportunities. Travel itself may not necessarily be at the center of the conversation around DACA, but movement is. And the sudden restriction and hyper surveillance of movement of thousands of individuals – who were already under some level of constant watch – is irresponsible and inhumaine.
So if you are abroad and your phone plan (and your finances if international calls are not included) allow it, call your representatives.

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