08 December 2010

On Attempting to Enjoy This Moment

It feels like every single one of my blog entries carries a similar theme:  I can't believe time is moving so quickly - I am so sad to leave - I want to come back - I eat a lot of delicious food.  I read other students' travel blogs, and they also express comparable sentiments.  This all makes terribly dull blog-reading for you, my questionably-existent readers, and so I will try to veer away from these themes.  Try is the key word, as  I sense that I will probably not succeed...
Last weekend, determined to experience something new with my diminishing time in Paris, I traveled up to the flea market in the very northern neighborhood of Paris.  It took me a while to find the right spot, and I crossed under the Péripherique several times.  The northern neighborhoods of Paris feel so different from the central ones; they are ethnically vibrant and brimming with urban life in a way almost completely foreign to the rest of the city.  I enjoyed perusing the thousands upon thousands of tiny trinkets and they had to offer - and as a bonus, I was told that Jesus must have pulled the stars from the sky to put in my eyes.  Not a bad start to my day, which ended equally as successfully as I saw Harry Potter with some friends and then had a lovely dinner with my parents and younger sister.
I wish I had enough time to sort through even half of the stuff on offer!
It has snowed quite a few times since I last wrote, and it's been increasingly more gorgeous each time.  I was lucky enough to play hostess to one of my very best friends and college roommate this past week, and she in turn was lucky enough to see Paris in the snow!  Though this meant we were unable to climb the Eiffel, it did result in several hilarious photographs which will serve as glorious reminders of the time we were twenty years old and gallivanting around Paris together.  Today was the snowiest day of all, I think we probably accumulated three or four inches in places!  I laughed to myself as I walked home, observing the Parisians attempting to avoid icy patches is pretty amusing.  Parisians generally look like they could never lose their cool, but ice pushes them dangerously close to it!
Such grace
Slushy Parisian streets
This week is my second-to-last week at work.  Seven weeks is such a relatively short amount of time to be working somewhere - I feel as though I'm just settling in, and now it's time to leave!  The experience is still great though, I don't regret choosing the internship program for a moment.  I'll be oh so glad to return to my normal schedule next semester, however, where the earliest wake up call is 9am and the concept of class on Fridays remains foreign to me.  I got some great news this week -- my three closest friends and I have succesfully landed an on-campus apartment ... In the same building as our friends who remained on campus this semester!  The chances of us even getting an apartment together were slim, but to be placed on the same floor as the rest of the girls was a one-in-a-million.  Thank you, Villanova ResLife, for pulling through finally.  
I'm allowing myself to think of things I'm looking forward to about home.  Such as seeing my sister, who at this very moment is flying home from South Africa; living within a quarter mile radius of my nine closest friends comes in a close second; my birthday, which is just over a month away, will also help to ease any post-Paris depression I expect to battle.  Thinking about these things make leaving a bit easier, but I try not to focus on them.  Instead, for now, I want to focus on enjoying the things I will miss most.  These include, but are not limited to:

– Warm pain au chocolats that make my frosty early morning commute more bearable.

–  Spotting the Eiffel tower around street corners and peeking from behind gorgeous apartment buildings.

–  The truly bizarre and inexplicable events I come across from time to time, such musicians dressed in orange which I stumbled upon outside the Opéra Garnier.

–  My host parents' endearing bewilderment at my habitual fried egg on toast each morning (as they are content with their bowls of tea)
–  These delicious cocktails from my favorite bar, whose name I will never disclose.  If you are lucky enough to be in Paris, stumbling upon it yourself is half the fun.

–  Greeting my friends... and friends-of-friends... and friends-of-friends-of-friends... with kisses (Even if you don't speak French, watch this video!  It's cute and funny!)
–  The cheery bonjour, et bonne journée! that follows me each day to work from the woman who lives outside the Franprix on my corner.

I expect my next entry will include more of this list, because things pop into my head every moment of every day.  Upon receiving an e-mail from the BU Program coordinator about end-of-semester procedures and general leaving Paris information, I actually caught myself shedding a tear or two.  It's not time to cry yet, though.  Now it's time to enjoy my last remaining ten days.  Sleep, after tonight, is not a priority at the moment.  Instead, I'm intent on using every possible moment to take in the glorious sights and smells of this incredible city.  It is, of course, obvious -- but I only get to be a student in Paris once!  I want to enjoy every single one of my remaining moments of what has been one of the most incredible and life-changing undertakings. Generally, people save the best for last.  Let's see if Paris will do the same.  xo


  1. It will be lovely to have you home, but I can well imagine how leaving will be rough. But hey there world traveller..........nothing can stop you from returning and you will never again feel like a visitor to Paris. It's yet another place you've lived in for a while.


  2. i'm not questionably existent! i really do exist!

    and i'm counting the days :)