Being a creepy stalker.
Paris has given me the opportunity to let loose with my creepy side in the name of learning. For example, leaning closer to a stranger on the metro to hear how she pronounces that word I’ve been butchering is not weird, it’s cultural immersion! Yes, I’ve studied French for eight years, but if I just relied on that I’d still be walking into movies asking “Dearest sir, if it pleases you I would enjoy very much a seat in your prestigious theater” instead of “Hey there, one seat for me please, enjoy your day!” And how did I become such a mastermind in the language that is actually spoken? Eavesdropping. Creepy, creepy eavesdropping.
Living in the middle of everything.
Ok, yes, obviously Paris is in the middle of everything, but I also live smack dab in the middle of Paris which, translation, makes me the center of the universe. I live under two minutes from Châtelet, the busiest metro station in Paris. That’s basically like living in Times Square – if Times Square weren’t annoyingly touristy and full of homeless men dressed in half-baked Elmo costumes. I live on the Seine with a bathroom window overlooking the Conciergerie. Everything I could possibly want to do 20 minutes away by metro or less and most things I love to do are within ten minutes walking from my apartment. I truly don’t know how I got so lucky, sometimes I have to sit back and remind myself that I’m genuinely living an experience so many people only dream about.
Cool looking currency.
I love the dollar, don’t get me wrong Benjamin Franklin is my home boy, but the EU really has us beat when it comes to currency. Everything is rainbow colored and shiny, you can have coins worth about four dollars! I’m pretty sure returning to the states will be like becoming colorblind. Oh, green? That’s all you’ve got? Ugh, fine.
I won’t lie, I expected the friends I made here to be like henna tramp stamp tattoos, alright for a little while but not something that will last forever. Fortunately, I was one hundred percent wrong. Unfortunately for my cœur, I’m gonna miss my fellow IESers. We struggled through external courses together (“I’m too afraid to ask the professor when the exam is, you do it!”), we explored the city together (“is that woman being actually stupid enough to try and pee over the edge of the metro platform before an oncoming train? Yes, yes she is.”), we survived final exams together (ok, at this point that’s just wishful thinking…). I’ll miss all of these people who I thought would be temporary; my host mom who started cooking pasta twice a week when she discovered I have the palette of a four year old, my Parisian friends who think my life consists of George W. Bush and Miley Cyrus, the homeless woman outside my metro who alternately curses and compliments me, the man at Subway who gives me free cookies for speaking great French “for an American,” my grammar teacher who rewarded us with Harry Potter translations, the list goes on and on. Paris, tu me manquera!
Paris, tu me manquera!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Clancy Tripp is a junior at Claremont McKenna double-majoring in Literature and Film Studies with a minor in Gender Studies. In the past few years she has lived in Indiana, California, Washington D.C., and Chicago studying and working in arts and literacy education. Good luck keeping her in the same place for more than a year. True to form, she will be spending the Fall semester in Paris, France where she will spend as much time as possible with local French children, explore every arrondissement, and sample every pain au chocolat available!</span></p>