Hello friends, and welcome back to my sorta ironic, sorta sarcastic, sorta interesting travel-diary-slash-travel-newsletter. Here, in the La Parisienne series, you will be able to read about all the cool things I’ve been doing, as well as all the ridiculous things that happen to me along the way.
In this edition, I fill in some of the gap between my journey to Paris and where I’m at now. I can’t talk about anything else until I’ve properly framed this adventure.
Enter the phrase, “Paris is a lady.”
Come 11am on my first full day in Paris, I had to check out of my hotel and get myself (and my massive luggage) to my study center for orientation and apartment assignments. Thankfully, I chose a hotel that was near my study center for convenience; unfortunately, this is probably the worst thing I could have done.
Because my class center was only a six minute walk away, I would’ve looked like a complete idiot to any taxi or Uber driver who would’ve had to drive me thirty seconds down the street. So, that means I had to walk. With my suitcases. Down the streets. Cobblestone streets.
I was making so much noise that everyone for a quarter mile in all directions could probably hear me. I got weird looks from both locals and tourists alike as I lugged 75 pounds of luggage down the sidewalk, staring at the directions on my phone.
Finally, I arrived, huffing and puffing and sweating, at my destination, only to realize that I now had to get this 75 pounds of luggage up several steep steps and inside the ridiculously heavy door, all while several other students from the program stood outside chatting and watching me struggle.
Not my finest moment.
Flash forward a while until I met my roommates and some other students. Things were looking up. One of the other students even said I looked very Parisian! (I pretended like I was surprised, but I knew I looked Parisian. I’d been researching French fashion and planning my capsule wardrobe for weeks.) Regardless, the compliment was much appreciated.
….. ….. …..
The next four days were filled with many, many orientations. Academics, health and safety, apartment living, culture, all of it.
Through all of that information, some of it interesting and some of it not so much, there was one little bit of it that stuck out to me enough to still be floating around in my brain. I forget who it was that said it, but one of the faculty said something like this:
“If you haven’t already experienced it, you will soon, I’m sure. There’s something very special about this place. She has a way of calling you back — the city, I mean. Paris is a lady. And she always calls you back again.”
And I believed her.
Perhaps this will not be just a semester abroad for me; perhaps the city will soon call me back. Perhaps one day she’ll offer me a home here, somewhere along the Seine.
I look forward to it.
In the meantime, I have so much more to learn about her.