Monday, October 13, 2008

Le Marais and Paris by Velib

I know it's been awhile since I've updated y'all, but life is full of things to be doing, etc. I just wanted to put in a little description of why I love Paris:

The other day I was feeling a bit sad. I had no one to talk to coming out of class, so I was just standing outside the library, smoking a cigarrette and thinking that someone might just approach me out of the blue, and oh, wouldn't that be so cool? This did not happen, however I was soon on my way home, walking the full, sunny streets. I heard Italian, French, German, some Scandinavian language, and an African one. I saw singles, couples, families, workers, students, tourists, every type of person imaginable, and all in the space of a few minutes. I took a deep breath and told myself that I have time. I have time to chat and learn and soon enough, I'll be walking out of Sciences Po's big, impressive building on the Rue Saint Guillaume speaking in French to my classmates.

Later that week, I ran into a friend of mine from the Welcome Program. I was talking to him about how the lack of a real campus atmosphere is strange for me because I'm used to being able to open my door and have all of Hampshire College at my fingertips. As I spoke to him, I began to realize how silly it was, really, to feel rushed to meet people. Already that week, I had a fiche technique due, coffee with a friend from Mexico, a party/reunion dinner for my Welcome Program class, a movie with some more friends from Mexico, and all sorts of things to do and discover in Paris. Really what I have is a lack of patience to let friendships grow and let time take it's course.

Friday, I went to my friend Tamas' house for our class' reunion. Tamas is a beautiful boy from Hungary. He's very sharply dressed, speaks impectible English and French, dances Salsa, and has an amazing sense of humor. He's also a very good host. The group of 15 or so of us, from almost every corner of the world spent hours together, talking, laughing, and dancing. It was great craic, as an Irish friend of mine would say. When we all finally left, it was late, and the metro was closed. Theresa (from Germany), Luis (from Brasil), Nigel (from Ireland), and I decided to get some Velibs (the public bike system in Paris) and bike home. Which, after some initial setbacks (yes, I somehow caused an entire Velib station to shut down), we did. We got lost on the way to the Seine, but finally got there, passing by the Place de la Bastille. Crossing the Seine, we were on a roll. There were so few cars and people, that it almost felt as though the entire city were ours. The image of Notre Dame at five am will be forever ingrained in my head. The building rose up, dark against the backdrop of a light-polluted, orange-grey sky. It was sinister and breath-takingly beautiful all at once. The cool morning air rushing through my hair made me giddy. Paris by bicycle at 5am has become the best thing I've done, yet, followed by seeing the Eiffel Tour light up at night with Lucrezia and some friends from Mexico, and hearing street musicians play on a sunny afternoon on the steps of Montmartre. And hearing the Benedictine nuns of Sacre Coeur singing Vespers.

Lucrezia and I saw the new Woody Allen flick on Saturday night with Dulce and Niana. On Sunday, after contemplating a trip to Sacre Coeur to hear Vespers again, Theresa texted me to know if I wanted to explore the Marais with her. I jumped at the chance to see a neighborhood I haven't really spent a lot of time in. The Marais is the Jewish/Gay quarter of Paris and happened to be filled with people selling things for Sukkot. It has become my new favorite place in Paris because everything is open on Sunday. And they sell Challah. Delicious, amazing Challah. mmm... I'm so excited that I still have some left at home right now. Theresa and I also spent hours together chatting about our families, lives, and the relationship status of our classmates. I love that she is always smiling or laughing. Well, not always, but very frequently.

Today, I had lunch with my friend Justin from the Netherlands. Tamas (another one, this one we call- Tamas avec des lunettes- Tamas with glasses) and Theresa ran into us, and we had a very pleasant afternoon in the sun. I love that the cold hasn't quite begun as of yet...

Well, I think that about sums up my life for now...

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