It’s a Sad Day: Maria is gone.
Thomas called to let us know that Maria has finally gone. Maria was our guardian (or concierge) for about twenty five years. She formally retired about four years ago – but it’s taken her about four years to actually move from her loge located on the ground floor of our apartment building. I’ll miss Maria because she’s one of the few people I knew that has a worse accent speaking French than I do – but as foreignors discover – they normally have less difficulty understanding one another’s strongly accented French than perfect Parisian French which is chock full of slang expressions delivered at lightening speed.
Guardians are few and far between. The pay is minimal and the lodging is usually only big enough for one person – even though Maria brought up her daughter in this one room studio. Maria (who comes from Portugal says she is a stranger in two countries. When she goes to Portugal, they look at her as a French woman and when she’s in France, she’s Portuguese. She has no place to call home.