Paris Holds the Key to Your Heart

Any Anastasia fans out there?

Anyway. This past weekend I went to Paris with three friends from IES. I love the fact that I can just take casual weekend trips to Paris and talk about it like it’s normal. This is certainly not something I’m used to, but it is one of the many reasons I adore Europe.

We saw the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night, visited Sacre Cœur, walked the Champs Élysées, ate macarons from the famous Ladurée, climbed the Arc de Triomphe, visited the Musée de l’Orangerie and the Musée d’Orsay, and spent time just walking around the city. I was singing “Les Champs Élysées” the whole time. I absolutely loved the Musée de l’Orangerie and the Musée d’Orsay. I have developed a deep appreciation for impressionism and I felt truly Parisian perusing the impressionist gallery and commenting on the paintings with my friends. I added Monet’s home in Giverny to the (extremely long) list of potential trips for the semester and it is definitely a top priority.

Two of my friends met some friends from home in Paris and they don’t speak French. So we were courteous (most of the time) and spoke English around them. It was SO strange because we have literally never spoken to each other in English. We learned what unique words and phrases each of us uses (girlfriend, horrid, y’all), we were finally able to use the word “awkward” again (it doesn’t exist in French!), and we discovered a lot about each other that we haven’t quite been able to communicate in French.

However, as soon as we left the company of the other Americans, we switched right back to French. It was interesting to notice that it is my first instinct to speak French with the friends I have made here. I am so happy that I have found a group with the same motivation I have to improve in French as much as possible, and that recognizes that the only way to do that is through full immersion! I have been very lucky. As my friend Emily said while we walked along the Seine toward the Eiffel Tower, “I picked the best friends!”

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