Les Pêches et Les Cocos

Courtney Malecki
September 19, 2018

Before coming abroad, it never crossed my mind that there might be some times that I missed home. I get to explore a foreign country, how could I possibly get homesick? With everyone else heading back to school and reuniting, I’m definitely having some FOMO (fear of missing out). I’ve visited Paris before, so I thought it would be familiar, but it is a different experience now that I’m living here everyday. I’m constantly thinking and processing words in French, which can be exhausting. Although French cuisine is amazing, sometimes you just need your mom's chocolate chip cookies. On the outside, Paris seemed similar to the United States, but I have learned that there is a lot of culture that I wasn't very familiar with.

A comparison that I have learned is pêche et coco, or peach and coconut. Americans are like peaches because they are easy to get to know, but close off at a certain point. French people are like coconuts because they don't open up as easily as Americans at first, but once they do, they are very open. For example, when I take the metro everyone is in their own zone, avoiding eye contact with everyone. There is little to no conversation. Where I’m from it’s not uncommon to start up conversation with a stranger.

It is taking some time to adjust and settle in, but I have found ways to make Paris my own while discovering new culture and history everyday. I have done the obligatory Eiffel Tower visit and have been on the hunt for the best crêpes (La Droguerie in Le Marais might be hard to top with all the melted fromage). Every day after class I’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather and opening new doors in Paris. My friends and I tried French desserts such as a religieuse (similar to a cream puff covered in chocolate ganache) and gelato at Place de Vosges. We have counteracted this by walking on average seven miles a day taking in the sights of Paris. My favorite place in Paris so far is the street that my school is on. There are fromageries, patisseries, boulangeries, boucheries, flower shops, and fruit stands. I love walking down the street every morning and smelling all the fresh pastries; it is the best part of my day! I would not trade this experience for anything in the world and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to explore such a neat city.

Courtney Malecki

<p>I love everything water! I was a swimmer and water polo player in high school, and now I am on the rowing team at my school. When I'm not at practice I can frequently be found at the beach, pool, or on a hike.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2018 Fall
Home university:
Santa Clara University
Hometown:
Clarendon Hills, IL
Major:
Communications
French Language
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