I made it home safely. Val and Elliot generously picked me up at the airport and even had Welcome Home signs taped to the car. The weather today was amazing. Honestly, the smell of summer tied with the slight cool breeze flowing across the ramps made me ‘ok’ with being back in the US.
At home, I got a tour of Elliot’s new house, met one of his roomies, had Layla’s for lunch, and then went to the mall with Val. Don’t judge but I legitimately almost broke down into tears in Forever 21 especially when I saw the t-shirts with French on them (example: Je suis TROP sexy pour ce t-shirt). Everything reminded me of Paris.
Believe me, I am happy to be home. Having texting back, and a showerhead that doesn’t spray the ceiling, and a big comfy bed is awesome, but I’ve been having trouble speaking English all the time and already have had some awkward encounters as I expect everyone to know French.
Bienvenue Reverse Culture Shock.
Paris, tu me manques. Beaucoup.
Last night, Emma, Me, Lumay, and Nathan went out (not Joseph though who decided to get home right as we got on the metro) to some bar on Rue Mouffetard. We met Nathan’s friend from school and some random Frenchies. Comme d’hab.
I had my Femmes et Conflits final in the morning, BRUTAL, but I survived and no school until September!! Amazing feeling.
But the amazing feeling is overcome by the sad fact that this was my last night in Paris. Emma and I cooked and watched the OC. Nathan, Alison, Anna, and Lumay came over to say our goodbyes…
In less than 12 hours (including the time difference) I’ll be back in the United States.
Green Day | Time of Your Life
While packing, this song came on.
I’m not ready to leave yet
I’ve finished my Cinema journal, I’ve taken my French Colonisation final, my French Grammar final, and my Paris Musees final, I’ve written my paper for Femme et Conflits but still have to give my presentation tomorrow.
Work is out of the way! I’m currently cleaning my room, aka folding clothes that are hung up, putting away everything that’s on the floor, and all that. I’m meeting Dad and Linda for crepes soon and I assume after that having my last dinner cooked by Emma and then my last night out on the town.
I’m really sad. I love Paris and I love the friends I’ve made here. It will obviously be great to go home and see my family and friends there and believe me there are things I won’t miss about France (Chatelet) but I am terribly sad to be leaving so soon…
Things I will miss?
Crepe stands (surtout celui pres de Porte D’Orleans)
Boulangeries on every corner
Free access to essentially everything with my Carte Etudiante
My navigo, and the seriously convenient metro
Cite Universitaire and PUIP
The balconies, thanks Haussmann
The view from Montmartre
Drunkenly making French conversation
Soberly speaking incomprehensible Franglais, comme ci
Cheap wine at FranPrix
Things I will NOT miss?
The smell of Poissonerie on the way to school (except on Mondays)
The smell of piss at Chatelet, as well as the smell of the French
Creepers, though the US has its own
The serious patches without sunlight
Having my window look out onto an Old Folks’ Home
I’m sure I’ll think of more later, probably when I’m in the US sobbing.
On Monday I had my visite medicale which was obviously a waste of money and time considering I’m leaving Paris on Saturday and I didn’t even get to miss class. Instead, I sat in a waiting room chatting with David and then had to disrobe for a nice x-ray of my lungs. Oh good times. I made it home in time for class, which was a complete waste. But I guess I got to fill out evaluations so it was somewhat worth it. After class, Erin and I went to Saint Michel to peruse the souvenir shops so we don’t go home without anything to show for our trip. Right after leaving, I got a call from Dad to meet up at Saint Michel for dinner. We went to a cute place called “Le Petit Chatelet” right next to Shakespeare & Co. where the waiters were adorably and stereotypically French, making dessert blagues and saying Voila and cooking right in front of us! Then we walked to Ile St. Louis and had some ice cream from Berthillon. SO GOOD.
Tuesday, I had an awesome French review in the morning (Michel Berthet is great) and then was supposed to meet up with Dad and Linda at the Picasso Museum but apparently it’s closed. So, we went to some Jewish deli in Le Marais for breakfast and then went to the Shoah Memorial Museum. Back in Paris Musees, two people gave the last presentations then we walked to two museums in Montparnasse. Nothing too exciting. After, I went to Starbucks with Hannah, Julia, and Sophie for a hilarious but effective study session. Feeling good about my exams, I came home, made dinner, and then watched some The OC with Emma. It’s gonna be so sad watching The OC by myself when I get home.
Je ne veux pas partir!
So Saturday, I met up with dad and Linda at Les Invalides and I even got to sneak a peak of Napoleon’s Tomb which I hadn’t seen yet (check) before I found them. We hopped on one of those double decker tour buses and did a tour of the main sites in the city. We stayed on for most of the trip but came off for the Eiffel Tower. We took lots of photos of the Tower, and Champs de Mars, and Trocadero and all that. We grabbed crepes for lunch and went down to the Seine to eat them. It was crazy because while we were eating we saw two guys jump off the bridge between the tower and Trocadero into the Seine. Pretty gross I thought, but still pretty cool. Then, we walked over to the Quai Branly to check out the sweet architecture and snap some photos for Andi. On the way back to the bus, we ran into like half of IES who just came down from the tower. Then, we went over to Saint Michel and had a delicious dinner ending in an awesome Creme Brulee (YUM)
Today, we started off the day doing a tour of Montmartre and then went to GIVERNY, the home of the wonderful Claude Monet and his gardens! Oh mon dieu, I loved it. It was gorgeous in every way. The jardin d’eau was exactly how I imagined, if not better. I’m really glad I went after I did my paper, so that I had this wealth of knowledge to reflect on in the gardens. We then saw Monet’s atelier with all the skylights (which is now a giftshop), Monet’s house (which is now a museum), le musee des impressionismes, some cool other art aka sand statues which were sweet, and finally Monet’s grave. We had a bit of a rough start with train traffic in the morning, but it turned out to be an awesome day. I then got my photo taken for my VISA medical file, and they told me not to smile, so I look like a terrorist, awesome.
Oh, and on Saturday night a bunch of us went to Champs de Mars and hung out on the lawn. The place was packed and was in serious need of a boombox, but it was awesome. Take that Madrid, we can do some bouteilloning too.
with great friends on the Champs de Mars by the Tour Eiffel are the greatest :)
Monday: Class, boring
Tuesday: Class, Musee de l’art et l’histoire de Judaisme (not that great, I thought the Radicale Jewish Culture exhibition would be cooler), Trip to the Rodin Museum with Paris Musee class, then trip to Barbes (aka the ghetto of Paris to learn about the culture of the immigrants…kind of weird)
Thursday: Class and my art history presentation on Les Nympheas by Claude Monet at le Musee de l’Orangerie. It was pretty cool. They gave me a headset with a microphone and everyone in my class had a headset too to listen to me with. I also got a cool sticker to prove I was a real tour guide and I knew what I was talking about. Wooo. Thursday night we had dinner at Emma’s and then went to some Irish Pub in St Michel. Then, we met up with Lumay, Kate, and Nathan and went to Cafe Oz. Fun times.
Friday: I forced myself to stay in all day to write my paper for Femmes et Conflits. And guess what? I’m practically done!
I know, lame entry, but I got everything in.
Daddy and Linda will be here tomorrow!!
On Friday, I went to IES at 11 AM for the movie screening. After, I went to Biblioteque Georges Brassens which is between my apartment and school, and stuck around there for a few hours and basically finished my art history paper. It was a really nice library, I was very pleased. Afterwards, it was just so warm out that I dropped my backpack at home and took a walk around the neighborhood, hoping to make it to Parc Montsouris or Cite Universitaire, but I never made it that far. I got sidetracked by three or four other grassy parks and then trekked back home. That night we were planning on going to Le Cab (a club by Le Louvre) but after a hefty pregame, I was not feeling up to it. I suppose it’s a good thing because the rest of the crowd didnt get there before 1, meaning they had to dish out 20 Euros each to get in. Yikes!
Then, on Saturday, I went to play ultimate at Cite. I was feeling a bit sick in the morning, but I survived. The first hour we were just throwing anyway, so I could handle that and I really enjoyed myself. Once we started playing, it was a little tough to encourage those sprints, but after a while, I finally got in the zone. The weather was so perfect, so one of the guys and I stayed after the game to throw again, while another laid down on the quad pour faire bronzer (tanning) and the others trekked to the hospital…yes there was another major injury. Who knew Parisians were so aggressive with their ultimate!
After that, I met up with basically half of IES at Parc de Butte Chaumont. Butte means hill, which meant this park had MANY. It was amazing though. It was essentially a mini jungle. There was an island with a mountain and a gazebo on top (that a few of the people there decided to go rock-climbing on). There was a waterfall and a lake and plenty of space to lay out. It was a little awkward lying on the hill, but the sun was worth it. We had a little picnic. Lumay and I even made a sand castle, and Lumay Phil and I taught some French children how to throw a frisbee. Cute.
That night, me, Emma, Sam, Phil, Mike, Megan, Megan’s friend, Lumay, and Nathan all went to the Eiffel Tower and just sat there chatting and hanging out. It was cute. And we were even able to catch the metro home before it got too late.
Today, a bunch of people went to Parc Asterix but I decided not to. Instead, I went with Erin to La Promenade Plantee which is a RAIL TRAIL. I was really stoked when I found out about it having been a RTC intern, so I had to go. It was gorgeous and was the first elevated park. How cool?! Erin and I brought a baguette, some brie, and a box of strawberries for the perfect parc piquenique. Along the trail, we came across a big grassy area that was loaded with people lying out and having picnics. It was basically a Parisian beach, but without the sand, and water, haha. People were even lying on towels in bathing suits!
Well now it’s Sunday night leading into my last week of classes…so sad.
Infographic of the Day: The New York Times has a continuously-updated list of European airport closings, which comes complete with this nifty graphic showing the “projected relative concentration levels of the Eyjafjallajökull ash cloud.
Good thing I didn’t travel this weekend! I know people who got trips cancelled, people who got stranded elsewhere and one girl resorted to taking the train from Paris to Greece, YIKES.