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Frankly

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oh dear, suddenly it's been two weeks since my initial blog post. I guess I'll chalk it up to enjoying myself here too much, but in truth it's also linked to some problems with my Blogger account, which have been annoying and tough to resolve. In any case - here I am, friends! Alive and well and ridiculously happy.

My apartment here in Paris is the smallest little thing, but it's perfect. It's on a quiet street in the 7th arondissement (a word whose spelling I STILL can't ever remember); it has blue walls and red tiles and an enormous and beautiful window, including a view over some prime Parisian rooftops. It's only 9m², and is probably about twice the size of my closet at home... but truth be told, there's no better feeling than having a place to call my own here in my favorite city. These past two weeks have been a fantastic and exhausting re-introduction to Paris. It feels comfortable and perfect, and not at all like two years have passed. Red wine on the banks of the Seine beneath Notre Dame's beautiful facade, too-strong cocktails at my favorite bar, perfectly crunchy-yet-soft baguettes, melty stinky cheese... I could write on and on. I can't believe I ever had doubts about coming, really. As soon as I entered the city limits by bus after landing at Charles de Gaulle two weeks ago, my heart felt like it was trying desperately to escape from my chest with excitement and happiness. I saw the impressive Haussmannian architecture, the boulangeries on every corner, the rail-thin French girls with cigarettes in hand, and I knew I was home.

I don't start work until the 3rd of October, which means I still have two weeks of vacation time before beginning anything too serious. While I haven't been doing anything particularly awe-inspiring, the fact that I can leave my apartment and walk in any direction for hours without boredom is a fact whose greatness I don't underestimate. I'm seduced again and again by everything Paris has to offer – and look forward, too, to finding new and exciting things to draw me in farther. A friend that I studied abroad with is also here and doing the same program, and sometimes as we visit all our old stomping grounds it feels bittersweet to have moved on from that oh so wonderful period. But at the same time, upon meeting two American study abroad students a few days ago, it felt so satisfying to say “We live here.” Perhaps that vague condescension is an indication of some French culture already rubbing off on me? I'll have to keep that one in check...

Luckily, I have some incredibly great and friendly neighbors which means that I'm once again speaking enough French to make bizarre English sentences; little irregularities every now and then – such as the recent impulse to add “frankly!” to the end of each sentence, or exclaiming “It's super cool!!!” I'm glad for the immersion and to make progress with my French, but on the other hand it's alarming how quickly I've confused some sentence construction. If not my French, my Franglais will certainly be flawless when I return to the US.

My parents were here over the weekend, which was wonderful and, naturally, filled with delicious food. It was lovely to have them here, and to reassure them that I'm installed well and happy. I hope they left on Monday feeling as confident as I am that this is the right place for me. While I miss my sisters and my friends to no end, I'm grateful for all the technology that allows me to stay in touch so well. Aside from a pesky time difference, there's no shortage of ways to be instantly connected to the people I love so much back home.

In short, (bref!) all goes well here. I'm not sure I can add photos to this post at the moment, because of my Google account problems, but you'll see on the right of my blog page a link to my Instagram account. Anyone hungry for photos of Paris (cliché or otherwise) can click through there and see what I've been up to. Tonight I think my friend and I are headed to find a free meal at a dingy café in the 10th that serves free moules frites on Wednesdays. I'm hoping to get my account problems sorted in the next week or so, and I promise to be better about updating – for all my millions of readers!

À bientôt xo

1 Comment

Discussion

Sinéad Cloughley said...

so glad it feels like you have returned to yet another "home".

see you in 101 days! ahhh