Re-Imagining My Own ‘Sabrina’ Movie

Nichole Palmero
September 3, 2014

       After trying to imagine myself in different outfits in my various and imaginative Parisian markets and rues for four days, I can finally say that I’ve finished packing.

     When I was younger, we used to own a VHS tape of the 1995 movie, ‘Sabrina’ featuring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear. My father, who loved watching the movie over and over would say every half-hour how gorgeous he thought Julia Ormond (Sabrina) was – probably because she looked like a Parisian version of my mother. I didn’t understand the movie growing up, and I haven’t watched the film recently, but all I remember was how beautiful Paris was in the movie. I’ve never been to Paris, and the idea that the city I’ve fantasized myself living in for years and years will be a place I will be calling ‘home’ for the next four months is exciting, yet very, very frightening to me.

       This past week, I haven’t had the need to run around looking for things I’ll need because I’ve been building my baggage up for the past few months this summer. I already owned most of the things that are on the list, but I did have to look for a strong pair of boots. I was hoping on walking through Paris with heeled boots or small petite heels for fun, like Sabrina, but was reminded by M. about the cobblestone roads in France. I’m usually pretty strong-willed (or stubborn) when it comes to walking and to what shoes to wear, but remembered how painful scabs and bunions are, and decided to put away my heeled boots. I was looking through the monthly and yearly weather forecasts in France, and read about how much “light rain” there was during the year, and added in a few more pairs of socks to the list of things I’ll need to bring. It may seem superfluous bringing a bunch of socks and tights for four months, but I am not someone that would be fine with spending the day walking in damp, moist and smelly socks.

four months in one suitcase

      I’ve tried to pack as little as I can, and even asked a friend, S., how she was able to pack for her 9-month study abroad program in Rome, and how she was able to work with ten outfits.  I also tried to make the list as detailed as possible, not because I think there’s a huge difference between “pj pants” and “yoga pants” but I do think it would be a little more helpful for others interested in studying abroad or other students having a difficult time packing if I posted an honest list of what I’m bringing and why I’m bringing them.

1 nude-colored scarf

1 basic t-shirt (black)

4 cardigans

3 oversized basketball t-shirts -not because I’m hoping to play basketball while I’m in Paris, but because it’s what I find comfortable wearing going to bed

3 undershirts/tanktops (black, white, red)

1 pair of black fleece tights

3 pairs of pants

1 pair of white-wash jeans

1 pairs of jorts

5 skirts -three of these skirts are pencil skirts, just in case I work while I’m in Paris

14 tops – these were easy to pack because all of them were made out of light materials, like silk and chiffon

1 pair of pj pants -they’re my happy pants: they’re zebra-printed

1 Baggallini bagthey make tiny shoulder bags that can hold a lot of stuff

1 pair of yoga pants

3 thick cable knit sweaters -this took most of the room in my suitcase. I *hate* being cold

6 dresses -including one dress to wear to the Opera

7 pairs of socks

1 pair of slippers

1 towel -my host mother asked me to bring one

underwear -you can never have “too much” underwear

1 bowl of microwavable mac & cheese -for the night I have jetlag the week I arrive

2 packs of garlic-flavored peanuts -my choice of comfort food; snacks my mom brought me from the Philippines

1 umbrella

1 bottle of vitamin E

1 bottle of vitamin C

1 bottle of vitamin D

1 book on french grammar and vocabulary

1 international travel plug converter

1 small box of extra contact lenses

1 nail cutter

2 bottles of nail polish

a bunch of passport photos -for applications to get student discount I.D.s, and just to pass out to random strangers for fun

       I also heard that the toiletries are pricier in Paris, so aside from everything on the list, I’m going to bring the toiletries I need, such as a bottle of shampoo and conditioner, face wash (just in case they don’t have mine overseas), face toner, and toothpaste. I don’t wear make-up regularly, but if you do, I would bring some make-up remover pads too! I’m saving the space in my suitcase for all of these toiletries because if it means saving myself time on looking for everything I need and the money I could use on a week’s-worth of Nutella crêpes, then I’ll definitely bring everything I need.


       I fly out for Paris tomorrow evening, and will be getting a few more last-minute things in the morning, but until then, I’m going to catch up on some Netflix and Ben&Jerry’s before I cross time zones.

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Nichole Palmero

<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);">My name is Nichole Palmero, and I&#39;m a rising junior from Ithaca College. I am currently majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance, and am minoring in Art History and Honors in Humanities and Sciences. I&#39;m from the Philippines, but was born in and grew up in Saudi Arabia, but went to boarding school in the States for three years. As an Art History minor, I&#39;m really excited to be in Paris to study the art in the area and to see the pieces that were made there! Also, I live for donuts.</span></p>

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