Stills from my Life in Paris

June 15, 2010

Today was one of those “oh my goodness I live in Paris” days.

Mental Picture # 1: I was walking home from class to the metro with sunflowers in one hand and a red box of pastries in the other, with a baguette tucked under one arm. While wearing heels and a pencil skirt, of course.

Is there anywhere else on the planet where that would seem normal? I don’t think so, and therefore I just fell in love with Paris. Again.

Reality did set in. People kept bumping into me which kept almost breaking my precious loaf (‘multi-grain has just about every seed and grain you can think of baked onto the outside…it’s to die for) and the metro was too crowded for me with my baguette, box, and unwieldy bouquet which I kept trying to shift so the wet stems wouldn’t drip on my feet…and then I remembered that I lived in a 5th floor walk-up, and I had to keep my heels on since I had completely full hands, and then it struck me how warm I was in my wool sweater…but at that point it was too late, so despite bobby-pins falling out of my hair leaving my view partially obstructed, and restricted leg movement due to the aforementioned pencil skirt, I finally made it upstairs completely disheveled and worn out from the hike-did I mention that they count floors differently here in Paris and that in the States we’d refer to my level as the 6th? Oh, and of course this was the one and only time I’ve ever run into a neighbor. I was probably quite a sight so it’s good that someone was able to laugh at it!

However, I set everything down, threw open the french doors to the balcony, and once again marveled that I brought home something as lovely as all this.

And when the heels came off, the flowers were in a vase, and I was tearing into some of that precious baguette smeared with my favorite sea-salt crystal butter and real Paris honey I knew that everything was worth it.

This morning I spent a good hour reading my personally signed copy of David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life In Paris (another perk of living here) and I couldn’t stop laughing as he described all the paradoxes, dangers, and absurdities of life in Paris. Lebovitz’s description of his now home in “the world’s most glorious and perplexing city” is so so true. There are so many aspects of my life here that are just ridiculous, but in the end good bread, good butter, some flowers and a balcony are too much to be glad about.

I feel a little disconnected from the students in the summer program if I’m going to be honest. They’re nice, especially to me (the weird one out) and they’re really making amazing efforts to speak French and absorb as much of the French culture as they can in this one short month. However, I feel like my life here is so different from theirs. Most things aren’t new to me, they’re familiar. I’m on my own with Laura and with both of us paying rent, cooking, and working during the day it feels like I’m a little bit less under SBC’s wing. But it’s a good thing. I was ready. I needed my 9 months with my host family, and I miss them all a lot actually, though I think that now Corinne needs them more. I want her to enjoy them and learn from them just like I did-I’m ready to play at being a ‘real’ Parisian now.

Which is why I buy baguettes every day. Today I also splurged and got dessert, and I wasn’t even upset a little bit when the lady at the bakery claimed she’d heard me say two tarts instead of the one I am certain I ordered-something I didn’t figure out until everything was boxed up and the money was handed over. But because I only have a few short weeks to be eating apricot tarts and real Paris baguettes anyways, I just laughed and took my change. And the sunflowers…why not? They remind me of Van Gogh.

I know that this sounds nostalgic, and everything probably will for the rest of this blog. And how can it not? I am preparing to end my Junior year love affair with the world’s most wonderful city. So I better enjoy our last few weeks together!

A bientôt!

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