Back in the USA! I got home of Sunday after arriving at Logan airport around 2:45 on Saturday afternoon and then spending the night in Connecticut. Monday I started work again at camp UMLY and it has been awesome so far. Lots of work and I am basically asleep every night by 9 o’clock but it’s all good. And I am making some money to boot.I’m not sure how much I will be updating this blog from now on but I will I liked having one a lot in Paris, so I am sure every once and a while a random thought or song or picture will come along that I wish to share with you all.
It honestly seems like yesterday that I was boarding a plane out of Logan airport and setting off for my first time to a foreign country. As we like to say, takeoffs equaled landings, and I found myself walking onto the tarmac at Charles De Gaulle in complete disorientation and joy. It was strange and confusing at first. I had no idea how the metro worked and was terrified to get lost. I thought everyone knew I was American and therefore must have hated me. Week one: museums, The Seine, trying to figure out how to get a decent meal without being swindled. Week two: shaping up a bit, figuring out how to get somewhere, setting out on my own. Week three: Normandy, finally feeling like I fit in, getting annoyed at other tourists who had yet to wise up. Week four, feeling like I live here, figuring out how to “pass” for a Parisian (until I opened my mouth), forgetting that 1 euro equals 1.20 dollars and spending a bit to much on wine, cheese, and pastries. Love.
How can I go back to Strafford, PA now? I have three days, 4 pages of an essay, and 8 hours on a plane before I am a native again and no longer a stranger in a strange land. Saturday night in New England, Sunday coming down the East Coast, and Monday back to day-camp counselling at The Upper Main Line YMCA. Strange? Yup. But I do miss camp, Wawa, the Farmer’s Market, OGC, and Minellas. Plus, all of you at home.
I guess I’m just going to savor these last few days and know that one day, I will come back. I must come back! And quietly be happy about finally going home, even though I have had such a great time here.
Back to the Tour Eiffel for Caitlin’s birthday tonight and getting another L’as Du Falafel. Tres bien.
Paul Child, husband to Julia, as quoted in her memoir My Life in France
Honestly, after a little over three weeks, I know about as much French as I started out with. Here’s the hint: everyone in Paris knows English. If you’ve got “merci”, “Je suis American”, “Je ne parle pas francais” and “Je voudrais [insert food item here]” you’re set to get by.
Slow night in Paris. I think I just youtube-ed Bernadette Peters singing every Stephen Sondheim song ever. And honestly I am okay with that. Also doing homework. Today was pretty swell. I walked around A LOT and then I got dinner at a nice cafe near where I go to school. The waitress was a little shocked I went for the 50 cL beer but trust me, it was necessary.
Today I slept in until about 11 in the morning which was absolutely necessary since leaving for Normandy yesterday was much harder than expected. Then I mulled about for a bit, finally decided I must do something productive, and went for a run around the campus. After that, I returned to my dorm, showered, and sat down tried to gather the courage to take the RER to St. Michael and go out on my own. Finally, I did just that. At first my plan was to go to Breakfast in America (an all-American diner here in Paris) thinking, well if I’m alone I may as well go somewhere they understand me. Guess what? BiA is a BIG tourist attraction and the line was around the block. Thankfully, the google weather lied and the skies were actually clear, so I sat down with a book at a nearby cafe. I got a coke and a pastry and took my sweet time. Next, I went back to Shakespeare & Co (how do you say obsession in French? Le obsession?) I sat around reading books and eavesdropped on am amateur writer’s group meeting.
After about an hour with the books I ventured over the right bank and bought myself a panache and a delicious sandwich a very nice cafe for dinner. The French like to put a fried egg on a lot of random things, and one came on my sandwich (as well as a pizza my friend Anila got the other day). I was sitting next to these two men, one of whom was with his two children. Here’s why I am jealous of European children: 1. They dress better than I do 2. The know more languages then I do. These two kids were about the age you start kindergarten (you learn a lot from eavesdropping) and they could speak French, English, and some Chinese. Quoi? I know. It’s depressing.
Also, I may move to Paris just because the food is so much better for you here. People wonder how the French stay so skinny. I swear it’s because nothing here as preservatives in it or anything artificial. It’s like magic.
Was anyone else disappointed by the season finale of Glee? Is it wrong that I want Rachel to end up with Jesse St. James? How much do I wish I could have seen them together in the original cast of Spring Awakening? Too much.
So tonight, the plan was to go see a reading about Sylvia Beach at Shakespeare and Co but we were told the wrong time and actually showed up to the store as the talk was ending. So our ever fearless leader Prof. Shapiro took us to the Right Bank (my first time adventuring there that didn’t include being suffocated by tourist on the Champs Elysees) and we all split a bottle on wine on his euro. Then we got some delicious, but rather expensive, gellato and headed back on the RER for home (note: Parisians think it’s very strange to get a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of banana together on the same cone but I think it’s delicious).
Now I am safely back in my dorm room readying myself for sleep as we are leaving for Normandy at 6 am tomorrow. Will seeing the real thing be better than watching Saving Private Ryan? Only time will tell.