What I Will Miss About Paris

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hello, dear readers - I'm finally back in the States, safe and sound, 
after a very long 10 hour flight and at least 3 in customs. 
I'm settling in back home and trying to catch up from jetlag 
whilst sorting through my hundreds of pictures. 

And of course letting my thoughts + emotions on life abroad settle in me. 
In the meantime, here's something I wrote during my last week in Paris. 
Much love and thanks for sticking around despite the lack of updates...
I promise there will be plenty of Paris posts soon!

It's my last weekend in Paris. In three days I will be on a plane, heading back to home + my family. And it is so strange to write these words...it still feels like I only arrived just a few days ago, and yet in exactly three days, I will leave for home, for a different country.

In so many ways, I still feel like newcomer, lost in awe of this city of which so much is still so unexplored. And yet, in other ways, Paris is as near and dear to me as if I have been here a year. Ordering at cafes in French comes easily, my morning route to classes is well-known by heart as I walk it twice a day, the Metro is second nature, and I take my lunch outside like any good Parisian. Scarves are a daily accessory, as is always wearing at least one piece of black clothing, my hair is always loose and wavy (no straighteners here), and my make-up has become more simple + natural-looking.

There is so much about Paris that I love - that I will miss dearly.

I will miss the open windows and fresh air. The beautiful, well-dressed men in suits and well-cut pants. The 50 euro cent cappuccino from the espresso machine at school. The sparkling water offered at every bar and restaurant. The fresh baguettes, crisp and hot, spread thick with creamy, salty butter. The delicate, wrought-iron balconies and beautiful, old architecture that makes up every street. 

The fresh crepes and spicy chicken kebab sandwiches sold in tiny shops. The gorgeous, cool weather even on sunny days. The stately flurry during weekdays and the calm, almost deserted, laidback atmosphere of the weekends, Sundays especially.

The magnificent, sprawling cathedrals that rise dizzyingly above me, splendid and awe-inspiring with jewel-hued stained glass windows and stone arches that soar to the heavens...and beneath it all, the hushed, sacred stillness and whispered prayers of thousands of years lingering in the air.

 The delightfully charming French children, infinitely polite and well-dressed, independant, joyous creatures. The beautiful Seine with its blue-green waters and romantic magic. The sweet, crisp classes of white wine in cafes - Chardonnays for only 5 euros.

The overwhelming history that spills out on every corner and bridge and museum. The fact that I can walk in palaces and prisons and former train stations, gaze at Monets + Renoirs, Van Goghs + Cassetts just a fingertip away. That I've live in the same city as the Mona Lisa for the past month. The gardens and parks filled with fountains, ice cream carts, carousels, and countless benches of people watching people.

 The strange, delightful feeling of privacy and anonymity  - Parisians  don't make a scene nor do they pay attention or want to know why you are making one; they care for their business, protect their privacy fiercely, and stay out of other peoples' business. The fresh produce on every cornerstore as well as boxes and boxes of coffee, tea, and chocolat chaud (hot chocolate). The mouthwatering pastries freshly baked every morning and only a few euros each. The open-air cafes lined with tables and wicker chairs on the sidewalk. The dizzying, enlivening, wonderful sense that Paris is alive and thrumming with art + love.

The slightly unrealistic yet tangible, magical feeling that you could be swept off your feet in this city of love - because it's Paris, and sometimes anything seems possible. The comforting sense of silence on the Metro because most of those around you speak a different language, leaving a freeing feeling of being enveloped in a bubble of quiet where no speaking is required on your part.

I will miss all of France, not just Paris. The beautiful yellow-green of hills and trees in the sprawling French countryside, bright against the overwhelmingly crisp blue skies + waters. The charming small towns and villages with bright window shutters and cobblestone streets perfect for wandering. The gentle breeze as someone passes you on a bike, golden-skinned from the countyside sun and embodying the slower, kinder-to-oneself mindset in France.

Yes, I will miss France. Especially Paris. It now has my heart forever.

Au revoir, ma Paris.

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