A New River

Ruth Marie Landry
August 31, 2015
Jardin du Luxembourg

AUGUST 31st, 2015

Right now it is 6:17AM and I am sitting in Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, waiting to be allowed to check in at 6:45AM. My flight isn’t for another three hours, and my cabdriver warned me this would happen, but I did got here early on purpose. I hate planes. More specifically, heights. Being a little bit bored in an airport before flying relaxes me; feeling like I barely got through security before boarding my flight assures I’ll cry on my neighbor’s shoulder every time we hit turbulence. So I’m taking the safe route, which means waking up at 4:45AM and waiting around for hours. 

I spent this last week in London and Paris with my friend Maddie. Of the two cities, Paris was our favorite--the buildings cream and grey, blue skies and green parks, and flowers everywhere. Everything was warm. Cities without rivers must be lonely places--we spent much of our time walking along the Seine and an afternoon eating croissants and macaroons on the quays, feeling very romantic and sunny.

Maddie and I know each other from school- we will be roommates in the spring. She is currently in a different terminal in CDG, on her way to Seville. A few months ago, when we realized our programs would start at the same time, we thought, why not head to Europe early? 

Well, my wallet can tell you why not, but I'm really glad we came. I have discovered that I'm becoming my mother- my favorite things to see in both London and Paris was churches (Westminster Abbey is insane) and flowers. We have parks in my hometown New Orleans, but nothing like le Jardin du Luxembourg- nothing that seems quite that perfectly planned and tended- we're a little bit more wild. I imagine Berlin will be wild too.

I’m very ready to get to Berlin, but also very exhausted. Tonight I will stay in a hostel across the street from the IES Center, so that tomorrow (the first day of the program!) I don’t have to worry about public transit. I keep telling myself that I should spend the day in the hostel, in bed, resting and finishing my book about the Berlin Wall, but I know I’ll probably end up wandering. I want to see the Spree, my new river for the next few months.


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Ruth Marie Landry

<p>Ruth Marie Landry is a junior majoring in the Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. On campus, she works in the library and as a tutor for high school students. She is also a DJ for WJHU (Johns Hopkins&#39; only student radio station) and the co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Vector Magazine, an online literary magazine. While growing up in New Orleans, she developed a love for spicy food, dancing to live music, and long, poorly planned road trips. Ruth enjoys big cities, Sphynx cats and Brutalist architecture.</p>

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