Thursday, December 17, 2009

my parisian life

I can't believe I'm packed. I'm currently sitting on the bed in my empty room, waiting to go to the airport.

How did these months go by so fast? My time here went from 4 months to a day in a blink of an eye. When I go out, I walk the streets completely aware that it may be the last time I see any of it, for a long, long time. I savor the leaves on the sidewalk, my walk to the market, the smell of the hallways in my building. As much as I've missed life back home, and I'm really looking forward to going back, don't get me wrong, a little part of me is sad to be leaving. 

I'm really going to miss this place. I know that very soon, I'm going to be caught up with life back in San Diego, applying to a new job or grad school, and Paris is going to seem like a distant dream. That makes me a little bit sad. I'll have the memories and the photographs, but it won't be the same. Standing under the Eiffel Tower is thrilling every single time no matter how many times I've done it, and looking at a photograph just doesn't do it justice. The same goes for Notre Dame, and the Louvre. 

In the course of my 4 months here, Paris became home. I have the route I take to class, the market I go to, the boulangerie I like to stop at after class. I even have my favorite staircase at the Louvre. I have my list of 'bests'- the best bread in Paris (the market around the corner), best tarte au citron (eric kayser), best crepes (le petit grec), best falafel (the marais). I know the metro routes I frequent like the back of my hand. I've seen the Luxembourg gardens in the fresh green of summer, the changing leaves of fall, and the snow covered branches of winter. 

Somewhere in the middle of getting lost on the way home from class and the whirlwind of final exams, I stopped being a tourist, and began to live in Paris. 

I stopped worrying about seeing all the things I wanted to see, because I had seen them all. I stopped noticing the differences between life in Paris and life back in California. Life in Paris wasn't so different from back home- I had class, ran errands, met up with friends- it just took place in the backdrop of the Pantheon, Eiffel Tower, and Montmartre. My life here became the norm, a home base that I looked forward to coming back to after my excursions. After all, home is something you always come back to, right? And I have a hunch that from now on, Paris is one of them. 


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