Jul 04

Paris in July

by in All Travels, Europe, Global Students

Paris American AcademyYou’d think as much as I’ve traveled, a month in Paris as a writing student would come easy. OK. Maybe not the student or writing parts; that still has me worried. But a seasoned traveler morphing into Parisian life for a month, I should be able to do that, right?

Three days into it, here’s what I’ve discovered.

(By the way, sorry. Having sworn I’d never do top ten lists when I started this blog, I’m breaking that oath.)

  • Despite my initial impression, “Solde” is not a group of St Germaine boutiques  offering beautiful and diverse Parisian goods. The deals and bargains, however, are amazing.
  • The Metro stop Jussieu is only convenient if, after 45 minutes of purposeful wandering from the exit, you find yourself somewhere other than the opposing exit.
  • Bonjour, merci, si vous plait, and au revoir, if used strategically, can be sufficient vocabulary to successfully negotiate a rudimentary retail transaction.  Until the sales clerk tells you the price. In French.
  • There is no quantity of French vocabulary to successfully negotiate an early morning croissant transaction when your smallest currency is a 50 euro. Just deal with it; you will be admonished. In perfect English.
  • My hips are too wide for most tiny cafe chairs. The croissants are not likely to help.
  • No matter how hard I try to pronounce street names and Metro stops, I’m wrong. And there’s typically someone nearby to point that out.
  • Wine really does go with everything, even eggs. (So do frites, but they are like crack. Not even once.)
  • Okay. Maybe once.
  • When people stop me on the street and ask for directions, in French, I can’t offer a whit of assistance. But I’m thrilled they think I can.

But most of all,

  • There is no greater privilege than to study writing in Paris in July.

 

I’m already scheming to figure out how to get back next year. Maybe by then, I can speak a bit of French.

 

 

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “Paris in July”

  1. From Barbara Wright:

    OMG–we were in Paris at the same time! I can’t believe it. Hotel Abbatial on Blvd Ste. Germain. What a co-inky-dink!!

    Posted on September 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Paris Views near Rue Mouffetard | Family Vagabonding - July 17, 2011

    [...] proprietor of La Fontaine aux Vins who now greets me by name, the boulangerie clerk who’s still not forgiven my 50 euro faux pas, the rows of vendors with fruits and vegetables, shellfish and whole fish and filets, and [...]

Leave a Reply