Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Playing catch-up

The Sacre Coeur, view from the bottom. 
Taken the first weekend of my program- the weather was perfect! I think half the times the clouds are what makes the pictures so beautiful.

Yikes... it's definitely been a while since i've posted. I'm finally all moved in, settled, and in a daily crazy routine of class and commuting, with little time in between for exploring. I'm in class every day from 1-5pm (and all morning on Mon. and Wed.), which pretty much kills any plans for exploration unless you still have energy for it after class. And you don't- straining your ears to understand a foreign language for so long makes you MENTALLY tired. Not to mention kills any self-esteem you originally had for learning the language. I hope that slowly i'll get the hang of it and actually see some improvement. Nevertheless, I've found my moments to explore and discover my own version of Paris- and I know you guys can't wait for me to share.

Its partly taken me forever to get back on this thing because I've been a little intimated by the massive amount of photos I've had to upload, and the loads that I have to update you all on. I don't even know where to start! So I suppose i'll start from the beginning. 

a drinking fountain!

This picture was taken our first few days in Paris- my mom and I were wandering around exploring, and we came upon a group of people gathered around this fountain, refilling water bottles. We were pretty shocked-- and asked a security nearby what it was and if it was really safe to drink. He told us that he was sure it was, and voila! Here I am, refilling my water bottle. The water tasted fine, and it was nice and cold too- better than the stale stuff I'd been carrying all day that was getting warm in the heat. 

I think this picture is the perfect embodiment of Paris- an old, elegant twist of something that is completely ordinary and every-day. You walk along the street, turn a corner, and you're met by something thats so old and grand that you're struck by its beauty- even if you don't know what it is. Just from my first week of class, I've learned that here, there is a function to beauty, and sometimes its the beauty that hides the function from the naked eye. In a way, I think this principle is also true in French culture- you can see it in the way people here dress, their traditional ways of doing all sorts of things just because "its the way its always been." It's so different from the rush for modernity that permeates American culture. Here, you still feel the rush of city life, but at the same time, you get a sense that there is always some time to spare to sit at a streetside cafe and chat away the afternoon with a friend. But really- time (as well as service) really does seem to go a lot slower there. Sometimes, frustratingly so- aren't I such an American? 


Victor said...

Wow! Looks like you're having a blast! (: The fountain thing trips me out though, but I'm sure it's not moldy like every fountain in the States is. KEEP updating! I like reading (:

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