Letter Home, Part I

Paris Travel Blog

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I am drinking a glass of Cava, brought from Spain by yours truly, and snacking on a fabulous freshly made loaf of chocolate-chip bread in a beautiful studio apartment in the 18e arrondissiment of Paris, France. My surroundings host an array of sounds and sites, our French windows overlook the multiple train lines leading into Paris’ station of connections: Gare de L'Est, and a wonderful bridge for cars and pedestrians leading your eyes over bits of north-central Paris to the Stade de France. The trains go in and out, with slams and grindings of metal on metal, the rolling of the wheels sound in our walls, but the building rarely vibrates.

First thing every morning I open our long, patterned curtains and look at the grey sky. It is often misleading, so to determine the outfit of the day I have to look at the people passing by on the blue bridge that crosses over the train lines. Short sleeves mean that it is warm; jackets, cold. I also open the windows, fearing the worst and hoping for the best. It usually turns out to be about 50%, but it definitely rains everyday.

It’s funny, the day that I left for Spain, the sun came out blazing and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. While in Spain, in the sunshine myself, Paris sunburned my boyfriend and heated this beautiful city that never sees sun for longer than 10 minutes at a time. The day that I returned, Paris sat under grey skies once again, with little hope of the sun until next year. Oh well. It truly keeps life interesting and all of us in Paris on our toes. Fall definitely came early this year, and summer late.

I love it here. The world is completely new, the people and their tendencies are unfamiliar to me. I am so used to knowing about people before they even sit down across from me at the bar. Paris keeps me guessing and also fighting to communicate. I know that I will learn this language only because I know that I love to interact with people way more than my fear of fucking up will prevent me from trying for too long. I am working on my accent first, this way, at least in minor conversations I can continue to fool those that I see everyday into believing that I truly belong here in our neighborhood of Indians and Moroccans.

The apartment that Adam and I live in is right on the metro, and I purchased a bicycle almost right away. Even still, with multiple options for exploration, Paris kind of eats me up. The streets are many and in no real grid, lots twist and wind about leaving the explorer with no idea as to where they are after about five minutes of travel. Even by foot. It’s kind of funny. It can take two minutes to get to a place and an hour and a half to find your way back. Thank goodness that I don’t have a job. Heh-heh. Like I’d be on time anyway.

It’s much more difficult to keep in touch than I imagined that it would be in a first-world country. I had grand plans of keeping a blog of my goof-ball experiences and wonderful discoveries, but as it turns out, Paris doesn’t have a whole lot to offer those with laptops hoping to sit at a café and enjoy the luxuries of the rest of the world via the invisible magic of the World Wide Web. There are definitely Internet cafes everywhere, but that really sums up Europe, you have to pay for everything. I couldn’t even find a bathroom to use after running around in multiple rain storms without going to a bar and buying a(n overpriced) glass of champagne (I know, life is hard). And in paying, one is paying in euros, which is truly kicking my ass. The euro took all of my hard-earned cash and turned it into a pile of nothing.

Adam is loving his job—I truly must say that the job is PERFECT for the man. He gets to spend the hours of his day being handsome and charming, entertaining travelers with history and great stories, drinking wine and riding bikes. The people that he works with all love him, and, even if they are from Texas, are great. Just kidding, we all know that I love Texas--especially the city of Austin.

To Be Continued...
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photo by: Sweetski