One More Chapter
A twenty two year-old's view on life, death,
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
It's official, I have now been living in Paris for one entire week!
That can't possibly be right.
I've definitely been here longer than that.
Wait...no, it really has only been one week.
That's right, it may have been only seven days, but this past week has been one of the longest, stressful, exciting, and exhausting weeks of my life, both mentally and physically.
As detailed in my last blog post, getting here was one of the scariest and most chaotic 15 hours of my life. But, voila, I have arrived safe and sound. There were a few moments where I honestly thought I wouldn't.
Because I was coming in with all that stress already, it seemed to be even more difficult to begin settling into Paris life.
Am I actually here? I kept asking myself. This can't really be it. I've been waiting all my life for something I already have.
Yup, turns out a lot of Paris is very similar to New York City.
Coming in from the Airport, I was brought through back roads, through the rather sketchy parts of Paris, full of trash, graffiti and poverty. The sections they forget to tell you about when you apply for the program or hear about the city from other people. Then I came to the hotel we stayed in for the first night, and it was in one of the more bustling sections of Paris. And it really does look similar to New York, except you can't understand anybody around you...which I guess is still not that different. The only difference is that New York streets make WAY MORE SENSE. Thank you for grids, New York!
The next day though, I was picked up by my host mother and brought to my home stay.
This is it. I thought. Now I will really get to see what French life is like and here is where the real adventure begins!
My room was great and the cat was really friendly and out going and my host mother was very, very friendly. So I figured, I was in luck and that it would be an amazing first week.
And while, yes, it was surely a week to remember, I forgot one thing: AWKWARDNESS.
This first week was one of the most uncomfortable of my entire life. Not only was I in a city the size of New York when I'm used to the woods and of Worcester County, and not only was I in a country half way across the world where I can barely communicate with any of the people, but I was also living in a stranger's home.
I didn't know how much I should stay in my room and out of their way vs how much I should interact with the family. When I was with them, I didn't know what to say since I can barely speak French and only my host mother really speaks English. I didn't know where I could go or sit or stand or drink or eat. In the end, most of my first few days I spent my time at home in my room talking to my friends and family back at home and longed with all my heart to just be back with them where I was comfortable or that I had chosen to stay in an apartment with all the other Americans in my program.
But this is an adventure, and it's not supposed to be comfortable all the time. Plus, I found relief in knowing that the other student who were in a home-stay were also suffering from the same awkward experience.
But as time went on, I began to become more comfortable with my host family: Serge, Veronique and Liam. And now, I truly feel lucky to have such a nice family and home. They are all so full of love and joy all the time. They are by far some of the kindest and genuine people I have ever met. Serge and Veronique are so madly in love I makes my heart hurt to have meals with them and watch them stare into each others eyes, like there is no one else in the world. After meals sometimes they put on music and we all dance around and do the dishes together while singing. On the weekends they all wake up slowly, eating breakfast in bed and playing the piano softly while sipping their coffees. It's so serene and such a positive atmosphere. I truly feel blessed. And while there is still a little bit of awkwardness, especially with the word barrier which can lead to some very awkward and stumbling conversations (one of which Serge and I just had), we laugh and let the moment pass on.
BUT THERE'S MORE!
Because, obviously my home-stay is just merely where I live.
Turns out, most of Paris does not look like New York City.
I know, crazy right?!
You just got to get out of the highly populated, commercial and residential areas and into the historic and beautifully kept up areas. Such as the Arrondissements along the Seine river. It's like a whole new world, full of art, romance, and age old beauty. It is truly a sight to behold. And on beautiful sunny days, sitting in the parks and walking by these castles, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
I have seen and done so much in just these past few days and know that there is so much more to do! I have explored Versailles, visited the Eiffel Tour, seen a sliver of the art in the Louvre and gone on a boat tour of the Seine. Tomorrow will see a visit to Notre-Dame and the Eiffel Tour once again since it's just such a sight. And I simply cannot wait to spend my Thursday afternoons exploring the Louvre and reading in some of this country's most beautiful places.
All in all, this week has seen a roller-coaster of emotions and each night I sleep like I just ran a marathon, but I am starting to get a feel for the rhythm of the life here and can already feel my French comprehension beginning to improve!
Until next time!
Thank you for reading,
Song of the Day
This is one of the French singers that my host family introduced me to, and I LOVE HIM! Everyone should give him a listen!
About This Blog:
I started this blog as a way to challenge myself to write more over the 2014 year, but it has blossomed into so much more than that. I use it to let people in on what's happening in my life, talk about things I find important and to spread the news about amazing people, places and art.