Today was a really good but really sad day at the same time.
On one side, I feel almost completely and utterly comfortable and at ease at my stage. Today we had pretty much nothing to do, and so we just got really silly. Also, we went to the mayor’s office for the 1st arrondissement to do an atelier for some kids to celebrate Woman’s day. We were put in the Salle de Marriage, which is this Beautiful room with 3 fresques (which I’m pretty sure depict despair, peace, and work, so I’m wondering at what point in history they were painted), a decorated ceiling, conference area complete with Sarko’s picture, and a beautiful view of the Louvre. It was one of those “oh my god, is this my life? This is so freaking cool!” moments. I was doing arts in crafts with kids in this fancy shmancy room right across from the Louvre!
I don’t mean to brag, I’m just so amazed by today. Thank you IFE for giving me such an amazing stage in such an awesome arrondissment! (This is also a good lesson for why you always have to go with the flow and try out new things in Paris. I didn’t sign up to do this at first, because I wasn’t really sure what it was, but then I figured it out and asked my director if I could still go. Imagine what I would have missed if I had stayed at the museum!)
The atelier was also really cool because I got a tiny peek at some kids who live in central Paris. Aka, even if the Mayor picked the poorest kids in the area, they’re still pretty well of and go to some really good schools. One kid drew this amazing picture of the world, and he knew where all the countries go. He also put a little icon to represent the major ones, like the great wall of China and the Eiffel tower, and some things I’d never heard of for places I don’t even know.
After dinner, we all decided to hang out chez un ami because tonight was one of my morrocan friend’s last night. It was great to hang out and just be silly, but it just reminds me how much I’m gonna miss him, and how it’s never going to be the same again. People are constantly coming and going here. And, even say he moves to France in a year and I finish college and move to France too, we’re never going to be in the same foyer with the same people staying up late going Salsa dancing. At least facebook exists.
Anyway, that was a very quick summary of an awesome/triste day that had many more aspects and little notes to it, but I need to sleep. I should be getting some pictures of the Mayors office from a friend tomorrow, so I’ll be sure to post them. 🙂 Bonne nuit.
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Tagged amazing, atelier, comfortable, end, england, foyer, happy, leaving, louvre, mairie, mayor, premier arrondissement, sad, stage
Although I’m not leaving for 4 months, thank goodness, there are some things I already know I’ll miss terribly when I get back, or are going to be huge culture shocks that I’ll have to deal with. Again, in no particular order of importance.
- Noise level. The French live at a perfect noise level for me. When you talk, the whole room doesn’t have to hear. The French pretty much only scream in clubs or at concerts. Which is amazing for me and my silly ears. So, I have a feeling I’m going to be unintentionally rude to many an American when I tell them to please talk a little quieter.
- Meal time. The French respect food and each others company. They basically do the exact opposite of what I do back home, and I love it. They start eating around 7:30, eat at whatever pace pleases them, while talking and laughing, and then wait for everyone to finish, talk and laugh some more, and then leave as a group. If somebody gets there late, we wait for them. I love it because it’s forced me to really get to know people and enjoy dinner time. Stop and smell the roses and all that. I’m curious if I’ll revert back to my habits of being the first to leave when I get back to the states. Hopefully I can convert everybody to the French way. 🙂
- While being late generally depends on the person, the French always do what they say they’ll do. If somebody says “Let’s go see a movie” we see a movie. If we’re all eating dinner together, nobody backs out half way through. It’s so nice to have people you can actually rely on.
- Public transportation. Even the college town shuttle can’t hold a candle to Metro, Bus, and RER in one city.
- Walking everywhere. I might just start being silly and parking really far away just to enjoy the walk. I’m really spoiled here, the Bastille is a half hour walk, and then half an hour more and I’m at hotel de ville, 15 minutes and St. Michel. If I wanted to, I could walk everywhere here.
- Boulangeries that are open until 2 am and have incredibly nice people working there.
- Dancing with people who know how to dance.
- The beautiful graffiti, tags just aren’t my kind of art.
This list seems to be getting a bit silly, so I’m going to head to bed. But as with all the other lists, I’ll update it whenever I think of something new.
Update: Here are some silly things I’m going to miss too.
- Buying Kelloggs cereal where the ingredients are also listed in Arabic.
- Being told that I sing wonderfully simple because I know how to pronounce the english words correctly.
So far I’ve mostly only posted what’s happening and not any of the emotional stuff, but now it’s my last full day in the U.S. and it’s really starting to hit me. I’m still incredibly excited to go to Paris, but leaving my friends and family to go to a place with a ton of unknowns is kinda freaky to think about. I know that in a couple weeks I’ll be all set and probably having the time of my life, but I’m not good with new stuff and meeting new people is always tricky business.
I guess I’m mostly just really sad to leave my friends and family. Skyping and snail mail just aren’t the same as staying up late watching chick flicks and complaining about life.
Anyway, on another note, packing is really hard. I have two suitcases, but I can’t just fill them to the brim because they have to be under 50 lbs. So, I’m currently playing real life tetris trying to balance out all my shoes and jeans, and not forget about the little things like razors and shampoo. I tried using Space Bags to make everything smaller. But they really only work on big puffy things like coats. Other stuff they just make into weird shapes so they can’t be packed flat anymore.
I can’t help but to constantly think of questions like, where will I eat dinner my first night? Will I be with somebody? How will I find the other Goucher people? What if I get lost on the way to the Sorbonne? What if I don’t test well into my Sorbonne class? What if I don’t understand people and they think I’m just a rude stuck up girl? What if I actually can’t hear people and I’m stuck wearing my hearing aid? What if I get stuck in Iceland?
My brain needs to shut up and I need to be in Paris NOW.
Happy thought, no matter how crazy this semester in Paris turns out to be, it’s better than being at Goucher when half my class in across the world. (Sorry if that sounded like a dig to anyone who stayed, it’s just own personal preference and knowing that I would go insane if I didn’t study abroad in some way.)
I really need to sleep, but sleep means I must wake up, and waking up means I have to go through my last day in the US.
I really need to go to bed. Goodnight anybody. If my rantings didn’t make sense, just translate them into “Oh my god, it’s almost France time!”