One day it’s cold in Paris, one day its hot. This combination means that unfortunately for me, I’m prone to getting sick. Being sick anywhere sucks. Especially in Paris, where I want to explore as much as I can during my free time (like today for example). This has not been the case. I realize a cold is a cold. But my impatient self does not appreciate it one bit. I remember last semester at my home university when the study abroad office talked about getting sick while studying abroad, I bushed it off. Me, getting sick in Paris? As if. My fabulous Parisian self would simply not allow it, I thought to myself. Unfortunately my French-American Parisian self is sitting here in bed right now typing with a runny nose. Disgusting I know. And not at all fabulous as I had planned. Fortunately I brought some stuff with me (thanks to my parents) to ease the cold. Because after all, I want to see as much as France as possible. After I’m done studying and completing my homework of course. My only advice for you unfortunate people who get sick are the following: (1) Bring hand santizer. Think of how many people have touched the same meto pole. Enough said. (2) Ricolas are your friend. These suckers are everywhere and are pure gold for a cold. (3) Fluids. Drink up people. I brought Emergency (or however you spell it with me) with me abroad and have thanked myself since. Also, Orangina , like are Ricolas gold for the throat.
On being homesick:
I become very contemplative while I’m sick. Last blog post, I talked to you guys about my desire to find a piece of home. Fortunately, I didn’t have to search too far. It’s kinda funny how I was going to go on this big man-hunt to find American things in Paris. The horror. What surprised me more though, was the little things that reminded me of back home that popped out of the blue. For example, I live in Minnesota. I was shopping in Le Marais with a friend this weekend looking at the soldes (sales are only twice a year here so consider your US butts lucky). I always find the shirts with English expressions to be hilarious because (1) They’re not complete sentences and (2) they don’t make since, AT ALL. At one of the stores I found that their specialty was selling crop tops that say Minnesota. Yep. Out of all of the lovely states in the United States mine was the one that this chic store decided to created crop tops out of. Though I did not buy one, it was a great reminder for me to have that sometimes the world is smaller than you think.
To go off of the whole Disney “it’s a small world after all” notion, many people ( to my disbelief) have heard of Minnesota. I’ve had conversations with Parisians and I will tell them that I’m from Minnesota. They smile and then will go “St.Paul/Minneapolis?”. To say that I am in shock that people know about Minnesota around the world is an understatement. The fact that these Parisians (thank you Mall of America) repeatedly go back to Minnesota for leisure amazes me.
I do not understand the stereotype of Parisians (or French people for that matter) being considered rude. This has been the exact opposite for me. When I’m in the elevator, people say hi. People will actually hold the elevator for you too. Today, an old man held the metro door for me. It’s the little things like this that make me smile. I could go on and on about how nice Parisians have been to me here. Yes, there have been a few hiccups but it happens everywhere, even in the land of “Minnesota nice”.
Finding that in-between (even when sick):
I’m learning to understand what my limits are here in terms of energy. Sometimes, it’s good just to sit and stare at the Eiffel tower in bed (which I am fortunate to do) while it sparkles at night. I’m trying to find that in-between spot of going out even when I’m sick. Even if it is for only a couple hours. Yesterday, I was feeling great (and the weather was amazing for the majority of the day) so my friend and I decided to take a walk around my arrondisment. I’m pretty sure we walked in the entire area. It was fun exploring what my area had to offer, even on a Sunday. It goes to show you that I’m facing obstacles (both little and small) with time while in Paris. Last week I struggled finding something to do on a Sunday, yesterday I walked all the way to the Eiffel tower and back. And yes, I ate a crepe. So Paris isn’t always like a movie. But I’m sure going to keep on using my positive energy and remember how lucky I am to be here. Even if I am sneezing and popping a Ricola into my mouth every 20 minutes.
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<div> My name is Sabrina Kennelly. Currently, I am majoring in French and Communication Studies with a certificate in International Journalism. My interests include journalism, learning foreign languages, communication studies, social media, photography, and of course traveling! </div>