Europe / Snapshots

Arret Prochaine, Paris!

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I can’t believe I’ve already been here for five weeks. I can’t believe I’ve only been here for five weeks.

It feels like a lifetime, but also like the blink of an eye. There are the days, and the nights, when I am deliriously happy, convinced that I am truly learning French, when I can see and feel my progress. There are little moments when other tourists ask me for directions, when I manage to order without stumbling, when I have a conversation of real content with my host family. There are bursts of joy when I actually understand everything that is being said to me, and when people tell me my French is pretty good. Then there are the darker instants, when one of my host parent’s asks me a simple question, and I just don’t understand. When my friends here try their English because my French is failing. When I manage to mess up asking for a salad, and the French people order for me (in these moments, I feel like a silly child).

But I know that this is an invaluable experience. That I am learning so much. I just have to remind myself of that sometimes.

Anyhow, another new experience commences tomorrow morning, when my program boards a bus to….PARIS! I’m spending seven days with the program, and then staying an additional nine days in the City of Lights for my vacation, so that I can really delve into, well, everything. The art (I think I might actually keel over from excitement), the food, the culture, the history….there is so much to see, and so much to do, and I can hardly believe I have this incredible chance.

I have the list of usual, must-sees and dos (Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Catacombs, Seine, Louvre, Musee D’Orsay), and a few off-the-beaten-tracks (Shakespeare & Co Bookstore), but I also just want to wander, and do my best to lose myself a little.

However, I’m also desperate for suggestions, because I have a lot of time to fill!

Any ideas?

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