Being in my mid-late 20’s there are a lot of firsts that I’m experiencing. And even more living in a foreign country. Like carving pumpkins, for example. Sure as a kid my parents would carve for me, but I never took the knife myself until this Halloween (really, I was forced too). The pumpkin designer is a 5 year-old; hence the hearts and eyelashes! It’s seldom that you get a Trick or Treater in France so I’ll be brainstorming for my Halloween costume for a party I’m attending Friday!
Taking pleasure in the simple things.
Something that my father taught me from an early age, “….it’s the little things”, he always says. In France, there are daily pleasures that are sure to bring a smile to your face. For me, there’s nothing like divulging into a crisp, buttery croissant from your favorite no-name-boulangerie. The icing on the viennoiserie: the sun in a charming park with good company. I’d advise everyone in Paris to take advantage of the warm sun, as it’s soon to be lost in the short and cloudy winter days.
Smile bright Paris!
I’d like to share with you a book that I just finished titled Paris was Ours by Penelope Rowlands. It’s a collection of 32 short reflections from 32 Anglo-Saxons who have lived/are living in Paris. I was happy to discover that this book does not sugarcoat the experience in Paris (although there’s much talk about pastries!). The stories are very real ; I could identify with all of the stories and has helped me accept and understand Paris more. There were a lot of , “I’m not the only one!” moments when reading this book. You can pick your copy up here or if you’re in the States here. It’s the perfect book to take with you on your daily commute to school and work. Anyone who has ever lived in Paris, it’s a must-read!
What is it like living in Paris?
A question I frequently get. Although, I like to appease their fantasies of Paris and just answer that’s magnifique. This is how one feels on a daily basis:
Paris is romantic and beautiful.
Paris is rude and crude.
Paris is full of energy. Paris is depressive.
Above all, it’s truly is a place of nostalgic and melancholy. From all the masterpieces in all mediums by famous artists left behind mixed with the grey skies. It evokes memories from yesteryear.
Tough love: Paris.
Paris is good at letting you know that the world doesn’t revolve around you. That your problems, no matter how major they might seem to you, in the big scheme of things are insignificant. Although it feels at times that no one cares, it really is for the best to stop dwelling on the negative. Things will get better. You can speed up the process of feeling better by buying a tarte au citron and a cheap (but good) bottle of wine while sitting by the Seine and watch the sunset. Life goes on whether you are on board with this concept or not.
Welcome to the future, France.
Since France (thinks they) invented the Internet; they were hesitant joining everyone else on Earth as we all connected via the World Wide Web. And as a result, people are forced to run all around France collecting stamps and signatures in 2013. It’s a treasure hunt, I keep telling myself. It’s true that France enjoys the physical contact, but sometimes it gets to the point of ridiculous…fast.
I’m seeing a big change in France: Prestigious universities like mine are joining the world of online libraries. My professors are proud and quiet amazed, while all the foreign students are myth-ed by the fact that online resources are just now catching on in France. Also, (signed) forms are allowed to be télécharger online. These might seem like baby steps; but for a country who, in 1993 allowed parents to name their children as like like and not according to the country’s list of legal French names—this is a hug step for the French.
So, way to go France! Maybe one day students can completely enroll in classes online.
I’ve spent half of my 20’s in France (the 12 yr-old me would be most impressed!) I’d like to think that I’m getting the hang of French living. And if this is the only lesson I’ve learned, well, so be it: what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Days come and go. It’s best to make the most out of them and create memories.
Current struggle: 90% of my wardrobe is in storage; I’m accessorizing the hell out of my black dress!
The problem with Paris
Yes, I said it. Paris has many problems actually. But usually, the good outweighs the bad. I don’t travel nearly as much since I live in such a worldly city. It seems as if the world comes to Paris. For Sunday lunch, there was a special guest who lives in Indonesia who brought snake fruit. The skin’s texture is something I’ve never seen on any fruit or vegetable! Although, the fruit itself tastes like a soft almond; I’m fascinated by them and love to peel them open!
Paris in October is bliss; because of the lack of tourists, the weather is just right and the tress are turning beautiful colors. Things are gradually starting up. It’s when new relationships are formed, new apartments are starting to be formed into homes and new work projects are being given to us.. It’s that perfect lull of coming off that summer vacation high, and anticipating the Christmas vacation plans. There’s this sense of optimism that slowly fades in January. It’s become my favorite month in France.
Happy October everyone.
It’s tight season once again in Paris (to be fair, its always tight season here). Being my third fall in France, I’d like to think that I’m getting the hang of French living. I’m a lot stronger , more informed and confident . This past month for me, is a shift between my life in America and coming back into my life in France. Also I’m blessed with the daunting task of finding an apartment. So in the meantime, I’m staying with family, which is a nice buffer to eventually living toute seule. With each autumn-color leaf that falls day after day in the Jardin du Luxembourg, I am creating two beautiful homes that are very far away from each other.